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FRANK BUCKLAND 







Lcmdon.Publi slitdby Smith Elder &C" 15, Watc-rl oo PI mm 



LIFE 



OF 

FRANK BUOKLAND 



BY HIS BROTHER-IN-LAW 

GEORGE C. BOAIPAS 




LONDON 

SMITH, ELDER, & CO., 15 WATERLOO PLACE 

1885 



[All rights reserved ] 



CONTENTS, 



O 



CHAPTER I. 

CHILDHOOD : 1826-1839. 

PAG K 

Birth — Parentage — First cabinet — First diary — Duke of Welling- 
ton’s installation — Education at Cotterstock and Laleham — 
Queen’s coronation — Billy, the hyena — The Christ Church 
home 1 



CHAPTER II. 

WINCHESTER 1 1839-1844. 

Journey to Winchester — Manners and customs of the College — 

‘ Launching ’ — ‘ To fit ti ’ — Tin gloves — Praafects and fags — 

‘ Clows ’ — Free translations — Hills — Mouse-digging — Water- 
man — Bat-hunting — ‘ Moab ’ — Jackdaws — 1 Tunding ’ — Remi- 
niscences — Mr. Frederick Gale — Mr. T. W. Erie —Dr. Merriman 
— >Rev. W. Tuckwell — Bev. E. Fox — Bev. J. A. Gould — 
Winchester Hospital — First operation — BishopMoberly’s letters 1 0 



CHAPTER III. 

CHRIST church: 1844-1848. 

Menagerie in Fell’s Buildings — Dean Conybeare’s letter — Reminis- 
cences — Mr. Herbert Fisher — Dr. Liddon — Rev. R. St. John 
Tyrwhitt — Dr. Merriman — Mr. Walter Stanhope — Tiglath 
Pileser — Jacko — Giessen — Letters home — Tree-frogs— Return 
to Giessen — Earthquake — Red slugs — B.A. degree — Private 
Journal . 38 



VI 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER IV. 



ST. GEORGE’S : 1848-1853. 

PAGE 

Hospital patients — Extracts from Journal — Society at Deanery — 
Menagerie— Chloroform — Unusual delicacies — Paris — Hospital 
study — Souvenirs — Journal — Pendulum experiment — First 
article on ‘ Rats ’ — Cobra-poison — First lecture, ‘ The House we 
Live in ’ 62 



CHAPTER V. 

THE LIFE GUARDS : 1854-1858. 

Gazetted assistant-surgeon — Athenaeum Club — Dean Gaisford’s 
funeral — The ‘ Field ’ — Dean Buck land’s death — Sale of his col- 
lections^ — ‘ Curiosities of Natural History,’ first series — Journal 
extracts — Lecture at South Kensington Museum on Horn, Hair, 
and Bristles — Visit to Paris — Literary work — Bridgewater 
treatise — Professor Owen’s letter — Lectures . . . .83 



CHAPTER VI. 

THE LIFE GUAKDS : 1859-1862. 

John Hunter — Search at St. Martin’s Church — Journal — Acclimati- 
sation Society — Eland dinner — ‘ Curiosities of Natural History,’ 
second series— Scotland — First salmon— Society of Arts— Fish 
hatching commenced — Oxford and Windsor lectures — Vipers 
— Acclimatisation dinner — Giants and dwarfs .... 96 



CHAPTER VII. 

FISH CULTURE : 1863-1865. 

Commission in Life Guards resigned — Colleci ion of fish ova Journal 
— Fish-hatching at dog show — Lecture at Royal Institution 
Book on fish culture — Marriage — Home in Albany Street 
New Zealanders — 1 Laughing jackass’ — Porpoises — Thackeray s 
elegy on the Porpoise — Visit to acclimatised animals Visit 
to Paris — Trout and salmon for Australia— Galway salmon and 
salmon ladder— Visit to Bishop Wilberforce at Lavington— 



CONTENTS 



Vll 



PAGE 

Commencement of fish-casting— Oyster culture— Silurus — 

Fish culture at Windsor — Appointed Scientific Referee to South 
Kensington Museum — Commencement of Museum of fish and 
oyster culture . . . • • . • •' • • 123 

CHAPTER VIII. 

‘LAND AND WATER’: 1866. 

Birth of ‘ Land and Water ’—Salmon and church bells — Fatted 
snails — Fossil oysters — A fortnight’s work — Collecting salmon 
ova at Brecon — The Yorkshire gamekeeper and the pike — 
Lectures at Leeds, Halifax, and Bradford — Visit to a fishing 
weir — Fish exhibitions at Arcachon and Boulogne— British 
Association — Private Journal 155 



CHAPTER IX. 

INSPECTOR OF FISHERIES: 1867. 

Royal Commission on English Salmon Fisheries — Act of 1861 — 
Appointment of Inspectors —Frank Buckland appointed In- 
spector of Fisheries — First official inspection of River Exe — 
Salmon migrations — First report— Salmon ladders — The Can- 
terbury Stour — How to deal with mill weirs — Inspector’s 
meeting at Maryport — The River Ellen — Increase in sale of 
salmon — Museum — The big sturgeon — Casting the whale — 
Cormorant fishing— Hedgehogs— A fortnight’s fish inspection 
— Salmon and bull-trout jumping weirs . . . . .180 



CHAPTER X. 

ABOUT FISH, BEASTS, AND BIRDS : 1868-1869. 

Salmon and trout ova for New Zealand, Tasmania, and Australia 
— Horse dinner — Whelks — Bison steak — Scorpion — Dolphin 
at Herne Bay — Large Tunny — Sword-fish — Private Journal — 

Havre Exhibition — Presentations from Victoria and Otago 

Great Lake trout at Windsor — Scotch Fishery Act— Preserva- 
tion of sea-birds — Netting the Serpentine — Sight, smell, and 
hearing of deer — Domestic pets — Arslan 212 



Vlll 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER XI. 

• ••«■ . • 4 i 

SCOTCH FISHERIES, AND CORRESPONDENCE : 1870-1872. 

PAGE 

Report on Scotch salmon fisheries — Impressions of Scotland — 
Thames salmon — Mole in Windsor Park — Wax-work show — 
Nigger, the spider-monkey — Unseasonable fish — Bull-trout in 
the Coquet — Fecundity of fish — Miss Swan the giantess — The 
‘ Two-headed Nightingale ’ — Captain Bates the giant — A plea 
• for Newcastle pigs — The Cat Show — Canterbury Museum — 
Crystal Palace Aquarium — Salmon at Brighton Aquarium — 
Royal Academy without a catalogue — Puss, the blind man's 
dog . . 237 



CHAPTER XII. 

THE ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS AND SEAL FISHERIES : 

1873-1874. 

Duties of an inspector — Act of 1873 — Eels and elvers — Fish babies 
— Guy Fawkes, the young hippopotamus — Obash, the old hippo 
— Winter at the Gardens — ‘ History of British Fishes’ — Sea 
monsters — Protection for seals — Scale armour — Ross Church 
bells — Lectures— The old rhinoceros — Social experiences. . 274 



CHAPTER XIII. 

SPECIAL INQUIRIES, NORFOLK BROADS : CRABS, LOBSTERS, 
AND OYSTERS, HERRING FISHERIES, &C. : 1875-1877. 

Report on Norfolk fisheries— Cromer crabs— 1 Natural History of 
Crabs and Lobsters ’—Report on oyster culture— Dynamite re- 
port — Scotch herring fisheries — Garvie fishery — Customs on the 
Eden — * Log-book of a Fisherman and Zoologist ’—White’s 
‘ Natural History of Selborne ’—Frogs at Windsor —The Queen’s 
visit to the Museum — Home pets: the Hag, Jemmy the suri- 

ca te Venus’s slippers — Golden beetle — Flies and blue-bottles 

« London from the ’bus-top’— Outside the Cattle Show. . 306 



CONTENTS 



IX 



CHAPTER XIV. 

SEA FISHERIES, BIRD MIGRATIONS, ETC. : 1878. 

PAGE 

Report on sea fisheries— Migrations of birds in March, April, 
September, October, December— Design in formation of birds’ 
eggs — Strange occupations — Party in Albany Street— Frank 
Buckland at home 342 



CHAPTER XV. 

CONCLUSION: 1 879-1880. 

Salmon egg-collecting for the last time— Packing eggs in ice — 
Beginning of illness — Fishermen’s prizes — Salmon disease — 
Friendly Zulus — Mr. Spencer Walpole’s notes on Frank Buck- 
land’s characteristics — Christmas at the Zoo — The Red River pig 
— Bear cub and bears — Dentistry operations— Last Fishery 
Report — Berlin Fishery Exhibition — Notes on Margate— Lions 
and tigers — Shrimps — The large orang-outan — Centenary of 
whitebait — Continued literary work — Last illness and death — 
Bequest of Museum to the nation — Recollections of Frank 
Buckland by Mr. Archibald Young and Mr. George Rooper . 368 



LIFE 

OP 

IBANK BUCKLAND. 

*o« 



CHAPTER I. 

CHILDHOOD, 1826—1839. 

Francis Trevelyan Buckland — Frank Bucklancl, as lie 
was generally called — was the eldest son of the Yery Rev. 
William Buckland, D.D., Dean of Westminster, and was 
horn on December 17, 1826, at Christ Church, Oxford, of 
which Cathedral his father was at that time Canon. 

‘ I am told,’ he afterwards wrote, ‘ that soon after my 
birth, my father and my godfather, the late Sir Francis 
Chantrey, weighed me in the kitchen scales against a leg 
of mutton, and that I was heavier than the joint provided 
for the family dinner that day. In honour of my arrival 
my father and Sir Francis then went into the garden and 
planted a birch tree. I know the taste of the twigs of that 
birch tree well. Sir Francis Chantrey offered to give me a 
library. u What is the use of a library to a child an hour 
old?” said my father. “ He will live to be sorry for that 
answer,” said Sir Francis. I never got the library. 

‘ One of my earliest offences in life was eating the end 




B 



2 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



of a carriage candle. For this, the bircli rod not being 
handy, my father put me into a furze-bush, and therein 
I did penance for ten minutes. A furze-bush does not 
make a pleasant lounge when only very thin summer gar- 
ments are worn.’ 

The birch tree has long since been cut down, though 
even modern education still has its thorns. 

At his christening in Christ Church Cathedral, on June 
28, 1827, Sir Francis Chan trey and Sir John Trevelyan 
stood sponsors, with his aunt Mrs. John Buckland, a sister 
of Dr. Arnold of Rugby. 

Frank Buckland’s early years are described in his 
mother’s journal, reflecting in miniature his character in 
maturer life. Through life he pursued visible facts, not 
abstract ideas. For facts, especially of natural history, he 
had from childhood a most tenacious memoiy. At four 
years of age he began collecting specimens of natural 
history, and at seven he commenced his journal. 

Most men of mark have had, it is said, remarkable 
mothers. 

His mother, the eldest daughter of Benjamin Morland, 
of Abingdon, Berks, was a woman of rare intellectual 
accomplishment, whose scientific tastes and power of ac- 
curate drawing enabled her to share in and help forward 
Dean Buckland’s geological pursuits. 

1 At two and a half years of age,’ his mother wrote, 
‘ he never forgets either pictures or people he has seen ; 
four months ago, as well as now, he would have gone 
through all the natural history books in the Radcliffe 
Library, without making one error in miscalling a parrot, 
a duck, a kingfisher, an owl or a vulture.’ 



CHILDHOOD 



3 



When at this age he was taken to see the camelopard 
and kangaroos in Windsor Park, ‘ he ran about with the 
latter and the other live animals without the least fear, 
though he got thrown down by them. He is a robust, 
sturdy child, sharp as a needle, but so volatile that I foresee 
some trouble in making him fix his attention.’ 

September 1829 . — 1 I can get him to learn nothing by 
rote, he will not give himself the trouble to do so; his mind 
is always at work on what he sees, and he is very impatient 
of doing that which is not manifest to his senses. It was in 
vain to attempt teaching him ba, be, bi ; I was obliged to 
begin with little words. I think he would never learn what 
he cannot understand.’ 

June 26, 1830. — ‘ He certainly is not at all premature ; 
his great excellence is in his disposition, and apparently 
very strong reasoning powers, and a most tenacious me- 
mory as to facts. He is always asking questions, and never 
forgets the answers he receives, if they are such as he can 
comprehend. If there is anything he cannot understand, or 
any word, he won't go on till it has been explained to him. 
He is always wanting to see everything made, or to knowhow 
it is done ; there is no end to his questions, and he is never 
happy unless he sees the relations between cause and effect.’ 

In December 1830 his mother gave him a small cabinet, 

% 

which now bears this inscription : c This is the first cabinet 
I ever had ; my mother gave it to me when about four years 
old, December 1830. It is the nucleus of all my natural 
history work. Please take care of the poor old thing.’ 
About this time a clergyman travelled from Devonshire 
to Oxford, to bring Dr. Buckland some c very curious 
fossils.’ When he produced his treasures Dr. Buckland 



4 



LIFE OF FRANK AUCKLAND 



called liis son, who was playing in the room, 1 Frankie, 
what are these ? ’ ‘ They are the vertebra of an ichthyo- 

saurus, lisped the child, who could not yet speak plain. 
The dumbfounded clergyman returned home crestfallen. 

December 17, 1831. — His fifth birthday. 1 He reads a 
great deal to himself such easy books as he can perfectly 
understand, and he has a happy knack of making himself 
acquainted with the contents of a book by merely turning 
over the pages ; it seems as if he never forgot anything.’ 

‘ I well recollect,’ he afterwards wrote, 1 the Duke of 
Wellington being installed Chancellor of the University 
in 1834. I was then seven and a half years old. This 
event is the very first subject on which I made notes 
and began a diary. I have this diary now. The letter/ 5 
forming the words are “ pothooks and hangers.” My 
mother probably guided my hand in writing. The fol- 
lowing is a copy of my first diary : — 

1 “ On Monday, June 8, 1834, the Duke of Wellington 
came to Oxford, and we saw him come into the quadrangle 
to visit the Duke of Cumberland. He is a very fine old 
man. The Duke of Cumberland has white moustaches and 
white whiskers ; he was at Mr. Jelf’s. 

£ “ On Tuesday we went to Dr. Macbride’s to see the 
Duke of Wellington. We saw the b.isbops in the proces- 
sion very plainly, because there were not so many people 
as when the Duke of Wellington went by. We could only 
see the feather in the Duke of Cumberland’s cap. 

1 “ On Wednesday we went to the Divinity School, 
where we saw all the great people, and then into the 
theatre, and a gentleman lifted us up to see the Duke 
shake hands with the gentlemen after he had made them 



CHILDHOOD 



5 



Doctors. The Duke clined in our hall, and we stood on the 
staircase to see the procession come up. We went into the 
kitchen and saw a great many joints, &c., cooking for the 
dinner. Some noblemen and great people came to coffee 
at our house. 

1 “ On Thursday we went to see all the great people go 
to church. 

‘ “On Friday we went into the Divinity Schools, and 
saw the procession again. 

‘ “ On Saturday the Duke’s beautiful carriage came into 
the quadrangle, and the Duke got out to call upon the Dean. 
One of the choristers asked if the harness was of gold. The 
coachman had a wig and cocked hat.” 

‘ A live turtle was sent down from London, to be dressed 
for the banquet in Christ Church Hall. My father tied a 
long rope round the turtle’s fin, and let him have a swim in 
“ Mercury,” the ornamental water in the middle of the 
Christ Church “ Quad,” while I held the string. I recollect, 
too, that my father made me stand on the back of the turtle 
while he held me on (I was then a little fellow), and I had 
a ride for a few yards as it swam round and round the 
pond. As a treat I was allowed to assist the cook to cut 
off the turtle’s head in the college kitchen. The head, after 
it was separated, nipped the finger of one of the kitchen 
boys who was opening the beast’s mouth. This same head 
is now in my museum. This grand ancient kitchen is 
the finest and largest in England, and was erected by 
Cardinal Wolsey in 1528. It was the first part of the 
college which was finished. In it is a curious gridiron, 
running on four wheels : this was used for cooking whole 
joints prior to the introduction of spits. 



6 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



‘ Wlien the Duke of Wellington was installed as chan- 
cellor, he had to put the usual questions in Latin, when a 
name was proposed in solemn convocation for an hono- 
rary degree. The formula is as follows : — “ Placetne vobis, 
Doctores. Placetne vobis, Magistri.” He said, “ Placetne 
vobis, Doctores ; placetne vobis, Magistri.” Shortly after- 
wards he had to read some Latin in which King James’s 
name occurred. Pulling up short at the word, he turned 
to the Vice-Chancellor: “ Mr. Vice-Chancellor, which is 
it — Jacobus or Jacbbus — Jacobus or Jacobus?” At last 
he went at it with a plunge — “ Rex noster Jacobus primus.” 
The shouts of the undergraduates were never louder or 
more merry.’ 

In the same year Frank was taken by his mother to 
Malvern. ‘ The children,’ she wrote, £ are delighted with the 
donkeys and the hills, and scramble and slide to the terror 
of all the passengers. We went to Worcester Cathedral, a 
most beautiful building within. The only thing that caught 
Frank’s attention was a ghastly figure of a lady who was 
starved to death, not being able to swallow from a disease 
in her throat, and one of the Nuneham Harcourts, a Knight 
Templar, in perfect preservation. We went to see the 
skeleton of a whale at Cheltenham. There was a tongue 
bone, the contrivance of which delighted Frank ; it was to 
prevent the water going down the animal’s throat, and to 
help him eject it.’ 

In 1835, Frank first visited London, the journey each 
way being accomplished in two days. The Surrey Zoological 
Gardens, the British Museum, and the Colosseum are 
described in his journal. 

In August 1835 he was sent to school at Cotterstock, 

O 1 



CHILDHOOD 



7 



in Northamptonshire, and in 1837 was placed for two 
years at Laleham School, near Chertsey, with his uncle, 
the Rev. John Buckland. 

In 1838 his journal describes the Queen’s coronation 
procession. ‘June 28: We got up early, and went 
to Richmond Terrace, to a stand belonging to Lady 
Selkirk, and saw the coronation procession. There were 
a mile and a half of carriages, and twelve state coaches 
with six horses, and great fat coachmen sitting on the 
boxes like great toads. There were ambassadors extra- 
ordinary from every country in Europe. Marshal Soult, 
the French ambassador, was most applauded of all, though 
he had fought against the English : he had a cap all over 
jewels. All the state carriages were ornamented with 
silver; some of them had silver cornices and crowns on 
the tops. The Turkish ambassador’s servants had great 
moustaches, and red caps with crescents and stars made of 
gold. When the Queen was crowned, a signal was given 
from the top of the Abbey to the artillery in St. James’s 
Park, who fired off forty-two guns, which made a great 
noise. When the Queen came back she wore her crown, 
with the sceptre in one hand and the orb in the other. 
In the evening we went to see the fireworks.’ 

The next day they went to the Surrey Zoological Gar- 
dens, where ‘ Billy, the hyena, made a noise just like a 
baby crying.’ This hyena had been sent to Dr. Buckland 
by Burchell, the African traveller, that his skull might be 
compared with those of the old dwellers in the Ivirkdale 
Bone Cave ; but his life was spared to illustrate the life of 
those primeval creatures, by gnawing and cracking marrow 
bones as they once did. For twenty-four years he lived 



8 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



in these gardens, and then his skeleton was added to the 
museum of the College of Surgeons, and his stuffed skin 
was sent to the Deanery, Westminster. 

It is not, indeed, surprising that Frank Buckland’s 
love of nature should grow with his growth, being inherited 
from both parents, and encouraged by every association 
of his youth. In his early home at Christ Church, 
besides the stuffed creatures which shared the hall with 
the rocking-horse, there were cages full of snakes, and of 
green frogs, in the dining-room, where the sideboard 
groaned under successive layers of fossils, and the 
candles stood on ichthyosauri’s vertebrae. Guinea-pigs 
were often running over the table ; and occasionally the 
pony, having trotted down the steps from the garden, 
would push open the dining-room door, and career round 
the table, with three laughing children on his back, and 
then, marching through the front door, and down the 
steps, would continue his course round Tom Quad. 

In the stable yard and large wood-house were the fox, 
rabbits, guinea-pigs and ferrets, hawks and owls, the 
magpie and jackdaw, besides dogs, cats, and poultry, 
and in the garden was the tortoise (on whose back the 
children would stand to try its strength), and toads 
immured in various pots, to test the truth of their sup- 
posed life in rock-cells. 

There were visits also to the Clarendon, where Dr. 
Buckland was forming the nucleus of the present Geolo- 
gical Museum of Oxford, and to the Ashmolean Museum, 
then under the wise and genial care of the brothers, 
John and Philip Duncan, where the children might ride 



CHILDHOOD 



9 



t-lie stuffed zebra, and knew all the animals as friends, if 
not yet as relations. 

In summer afternoons, after the early three o’clock 
dinner, Dr. Buckland would drive out Mrs. Buckland and 
their children, in a carriage known as the bird’s-nest, to 
Bagley Wood, to hunt for moles and nests, or to Port 
Meadow to gather yellow iris and water-lilies, and fish for 
minnows, and often to set free a bright-hued kingfisher 
(they were plentiful in those days) which he had redeemed 
from some mischievous urchin with a sixpence. Or another 
day to Shotover, to dig in the quarries for oysters and 
gryphites ; or again to Iffley, to gather snake’s-heads ( Fritil - 
laria). Both father and mother were devotedly fond of 
flowers, and their horse stopped automatically at every 
nursery garden, as at every quarry. 

Some of the graver Dons were perhaps a little scandal- 
ised by such vagrant proceedings, but how much happiness 
and wisdom were gathered in these excursions ! 

Dr. Buckland’ s discoveries in geology were indeed but 
slowly appreciated, and were regarded with suspicion by 
many. Frank Buckland used long afterwards to tell of an 
incredulous Don, who could not bring his mind to believe 
in the scientific facts which Dr. Buckland was just then 
bringing to light, and who boldly asserted that a mam- 
moth tooth dug up in St. Giles’s parish, just opposite to 
St. John’s College, was nothing more nor less than the 
tooth of an elephant which had died in Wombwell’s 
menagerie at some unknown antecedent period ! 



10 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



CHAPTER II. 

WINCHESTER, 1839—1844. 

In July 1839, Frank Buckland, then twelve years old, 
was elected scholar of Winchester College, Dr. Moberly, 
the present Bishop of Salisbury, being head master. 

His life at Winchester is best described in his own 
words : — 

£ It is now thirty-three years ago,’ he wrote in 1873 in 
the £ Temple Bar Magazine,’ £ since, a frightened and trem- 
bling lad, in the month of August 1839, I found myself 
standing underneath the gateway of William of Wykeham’s 
noble college at Winchester, duly entered as a scholar 
thereof by the nomination of Dr. Shuttleworth, then War- 
den of New College, Oxford, afterwards Bishop of Chiches- 
ter. In those days there was no railway to Winchester, 
and I went from Oxford to Winchester in a four-horse 
coach, the driver of which wore most wonderful top-boots 
and a marvellous coat with gigantic buttons. I had great 
respect for this coachman, as he once brought my father 
a semi-dead crocodile, in the coach boot, from South- 
ampton. My father turned the dead crocodile into the 
pond in the middle of the quadrangle at Christ Church, to 
revive him ; but he refused to be revived, so I rode about 
upon him, Waterton fashion, and somehow I always 



WINCHESTER 



11 



associated the Southampton coachman with a crocodile. 
I recollect perfectly well that he once told me he had 
driven my mother to school to Southampton, and this 
made me think him very old. Soon after we had driven 
over Folly Fridge on our road to Winchester, crossing the 
Thames at Oxford, and were ascending the Bagley Wood 
Hill on the Abingdon Road, the rest of the passengers 
began to complain about a nasty unpleasant sijiell, which 
apparently proceeded from the luggage on the top of 
the coach. A bluebottle fly first appeared from out of 
Bagley Wood, then another, until a perfect swarm of flies 
soon followed the coach, hovering and buzzing over the 
luggage. The passengers were mostly Oxford boys, going 
to Winchester, and there was a strong idea among them 
that somehow or other I knew from whence this odour 
proceeded. I knew perfectly well the cause of the smell, 
but I said nothing. The “ governor,” then Canon of 
Christ Church, had kept a haunch of venison for me to 
take as a present to the head master, Hr. Moberly ; he had 
kept it so long hanging up in the larder at Christ Church 
that it had become very “ exalted ” indeed ; nevertheless he 
packed it up, thinking to make it last anyhow as far as 
Winchester. His experiment failed, and the other boys 
punched my head on the top of the coach, and were 
very near throwing me and my venison overboard alto- 
gether. ' 

‘ We Oxford lads arriving at Winchester, all went down 
to the college together, and put on our gowns for the first 
time. Our gowns were made of cloth, the like of which I 
never since beheld, and our hats were taken away, as no 
Winchester boys, except prefects, wear hats. It is rare to 



12 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



find a Winchester man now with a bald head, and even 
now I never wear a hat if* I can possibly help it. 

4 Immediately after chapel the old stager boys all came 
round the new arrivals to examine and criticise them. I 

perfectly recollect one boy, H , to whose special care 

my poor confiding mother had entrusted her innocent un- 
suspecting cub, coming up to me with a most solemn face, 
and asking me if I had brought with me my copy of the 
school book “ Pempe moron proteron.” I said I had not. 
“ Then,” says he, “ you must borrow one at once, or the 
Doctor,” i.e. Dr. Moberly, the head master, u will be sure to 
flog you to-morrow morning, and your college tutor, one of 
the prsefects, will also lick you.” So he sent me to another 
boy, who said he had lent his “ Pempe moron proteron,” but 
he passed me on to a third, he on to a fourth : so I was run- 
ning about all over the college till quite late, in a most terri- 
ble panic of mind, till at last a good-natured praefect said, 
“ Construe it, you little fool.” I had never thought of this 
before. I saw it directly : Pempe (send) moron (a fool) pro- 
teron (further). So the title of this wonderful book after all 
was “ Send a fool further.” I then went to complain to 

H ; he only laughed, and shied a Donnegan’s Lexicon 

at my head. I dodged it like a bird, so he made me pick it 
up and bring it to him again, like a retriever dog. I then 
had to “ run for another shot,” and he winged me this time ; 
so I shall never forget the translation of Pempe moron pro- 
teron. 

1 The beds in “ chambers ” (as the sleeping apartments are 
called) are, I believe, as old as William of Wykeham him- 
self ; they are made of very thick oak planks, and there is 
a hollow for the bedclothes, after the style of the beds for 



WINCHESTER 



13 



foxhounds in kennels. I was glad enough to turn in after 
this long and anxious day. I dreamed of home, and cal- 
culated how big some young ducks I had left in the out- 
house at home would be when the holidays came round. 
They were my ducks. I had bought them as “ squeakers ” 
on Port Meadow, with my pocket-money, and my father 
had promised that if I was a good boy at my lessons I 
should cut their heads off when I came home, on the wood 
block in the tool-house, with the gardener’s hatchet. It 
was made a great treat to my brother and myself to cut a 
duck’s head off while my dear old father held the duck’s 
legs — 1 but he was not dressed for the occasion in his canon- 
ical robes. 

c In the midst of my dreams I imagined that an eruption 
of Mount Vesuvius had suddenly taken place. I felt my- 
self flying through the air, and then experienced a most 
tremendous crack on the back of my head ; in fact, I was 
“ launched.” I afterwards ascertained that all new boys 
were “launched” the first night after arrival. The process 
of “ launching” is in this wise : when the innocent is fast 
asleep, dreaming of home and mother, two boys catch hold 
of one side of the bottom of the mattress and two of the 
other, and at the signal “ Launch ! ” run the bed out in the 
middle of the room with the boy in it ; they then cut 
away like rabbits to their own beds, while the wretched 
“junior” has to rearrange his bed as well as he can, and 
tumble in again, frightened out of his wits. There is, 
however, a little mercy shown, for it is considered unfair 
to launch the same boy twice in the same night, particu- 
larly as he has, in the course of a day or two, when he is 
beginning to be able to sleep again (for “ launching ” made 



14 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCJvLAND 



me sleep with one eye open), to be initiated into another 
college mystery. 

‘ A few nights afterwards I dreamt I was wandering 
on the sea-shore, and that a crab was pinching my foot. 
Instantly awakening, I experienced a most frightful pain 
in my great toe. I bore it for a while, until at last it 
became so intense that I had to jump up with a howl of 
agony ; all was quiet, but the pull continued, and I had 
to follow my toe and outstretched leg out of bed. I then 
found a bit of wetted whipcord tight round it ; but the 
whipcord was so ingeniously twisted among the beds that 
it was impossible to find out who had pulled it. I re- 
turned to bed as savage as a wounded animal. The 
moment I was settled, the boys all burst into a shout : 
“ Toe fit tied! By Jove, what a lark ! ” This barbarous 
process is called “ toe fit tie ” because there is a line in 
Prosody which begins, “To fit ti, ut verto verti.” Hence 
the orison of this Winchester custom. 

‘ The latest arrival in college is called “ junior in 
chambers,” and in my time “junior in chambers” had a 
precious hard time of it. He had to get up at “ first peal,” 
i.e. when the chapel bell rang — and this was awfully early 
in the morning — call all the boys in the room, light the 
fire, put out the praefects’ washing apparatus, &c. The 
Winchester fires were large fagots burnt upon “ dog- 
irons.” It requires great art to make a fagot light 
quickly, and the burning sticks were awkward to handle. 
No tongs were allowed ; so when a boy first took office 
he had a pair of “tin gloves” given him-; i.e. one of 
the seniors took the red-hot end of a bit of stick, and 
blowing it to keep it alight made a mark down all the 



WINCHESTER 



15 



finders ancl round the wrists ; after he had received his 
“ tin gloves ” woe be to the boy who managed the fagots 
clumsily, for he instantly was formally presented with 
another pair of “tin gloves.” The “junior in chambers ” 
had also to clean the wash-hand basins, and they were only 
cleaned before chapel-time on a Sunday morning. We had 
to do this out in the open, at two water-taps, which were 
called “conduit.” I’ll be bound to say that very few 
Winchester boys noiv know how to clean basins properly. 
The secret is to use salt. But “ cleaning basins ” was 
terrifically cold work for our fingers on frosty mornings, 
especially if we had chapped hands ; and what with “ tin 
gloves ’’and salt, this was often the case. We also had to 
mark the basins. I wonder if any of my readers know 
how to mark indelibly a common white wash-hand basin 
with initials of the owner? Well, it is a Winchester 
secret. If you rub the basin hard with the pipe part of 
an ordinary drawer key, you will wear off the white enamel 
of the basin and lay bare the brown part of the structure. 

One boy, F , now a judge in India, was wonderfully 

clever at marking basins. He used to be let off cricket to 
mark basins, and he used to sit by the “ tap ” working away 
at the basins, like a cobbler. How I envied him ! For I 
even now hate cricket. I had quite enough of it as a fag 
at Winchester. The “junior in chambers” had also to 
clean the knives. There were no American knife-cleaners 
in those days ; but we cleaned the knives by rubbing them 
up and down quickly in the cracks between the stones 
of the college court. I could now walk to my favourite 
knife-cleaning place just by the college chapel door; it is 
on the west side. 



16 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



‘ It was also the duty of “junior in chambers,” as well as 
other “ fags,” to make coffee for the prefects. There is a 
great art in making coffee. The coffee must be mixed with 
cold water, it must then be put on the “ dog-irons ” till 
large bubbles come to the surface ; these must be broken 
one by one with a piece of stick ; a piece of the skin of a 
sole must then be put into the coffee, it must be allowed 
to boil up again, and then a small cup of cold water 
thrown in and the coffee allowed to settle. The juniors 
used to take pride in making coffee, and I recollect once, 
when there was a “ coffee match ” I got the second prize, 
and will now back myself to make coffee against anybody, 
even professed cooks. We used also to make plum 
puddings ; but we never began them till very late at 
night, when we thought the master, Dr. Wordsworth (now 
Bishop of St. Andrews), had gone to bed and would not 
come his rounds that night. I used to roll the dough 
with the towel roller that was behind the door. The 
biggest licking I ever got in my life was for makiug a 
heavy plum pudding ; and to this day I would not under- 
take to make a plum pudding, as I shall never forget that 
licking. 

‘ The prefects, when not particularly busy with their 
books, instituted bolstering matches among the juniors. 
A bolster, properly arranged, is a very formidable weapon, 
and the great object was to skin one’s adversary’s nose. 
This is done by a well-directed blow which brings the 
rough edge of the bolster on to the bridge of the nose. I 
recollect on one occasion having a fierce battle with a lad 
who has since died, holding a high official appointment. 
In the middle of the fight we heard a key put in the door. 



WINCHESTER 



17 



By Jove! it was Dr. Wordsworth, coming the rounds! 
I was into bed in a moment, and, though panting like a 
hunted fox, pretended to be fast asleep. Dr. Wordsworth 
put the light of the lantern he carried right into my eyes, 
but I never moved a muscle, because I knew perfectly well 
that if I had been caught my name would have been 
“ ordered ” for a flogging the next morning, while I should 
most certainly have got a “ funding ” with a ground-ash 
stick from the prefects for being such a fool as to be 
caught by the master. 

‘ I had not been long at Winchester before I was ap- 
pointed to be “ rod maker.” The rods consist of four apple 
twigs ; these are tied fast into four grooves at the top of a 
light wooden handle. It requires some skill to make a 
rod properly, as the twigs are apt to shift round under the 
string, and thus get loose ; and if a rod were not properly 
made, and if it broke when the master was using it, I 
think the manufacturer was entitled to one cut from a rod 
made by some one else. The praefects used to buy the 
ground-ashes from Bill Purvis, the under cook. They 
were sapling ashes, with the roots on. The legend was 
that Purvis used to boil them with the mutton to get the 
grease into them, and then put them up the big college 
chimney to toughen; and, by Jove! they were tough as 
whalebone ! 

£ Unless a boy had twenty juniors, i.e. twenty boys 
below him in the school, he was not allowed to “ think.” 
The praefects, when they wanted anything, used to cry 
“ Junior ! junior!” and the junior boy in the school had to 
run instantly. The praefect would say, “ Where is so-and- 
so ? ” The junior would answer, “ Please, I thought so-and- 

c 



18 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



so.” “Have you got twenty juniors? ” “No.” “Then you 
must have three clows for thinking.” “ Clows ” are boxes 
on the ear ; they don’t hurt much ; we boys found out the 
proper way to shift one’s head, so that the clows should 
not hurt. 

I Altogether, we juniors had a pretty hard time of 
it ; but it was wonderful good training ; it made one so 
awfully sharp and certain about little things. The edict 
against “thinking” was good; it made one find out for cer- 
tain, or else say “ I don’t know.” We were never whacked 
for “ not knowing,” only for “ thinking.” Many people 
about are always “ thinking ; ” they should have been at 
Winchester. A few “ clows ” administered to them when 
juniors would have done them much good. 

I I once made a tremendously lucky hit. I was very 
nearly at the bottom of a class before Dr. Wordsworth. A 
senior boy was construing a passage in the first Georgic, 
describing a man rowing up stream with oars : 

Non aliter quam qui adverso vix flumine lemburn 
Bemigiis snbigit : si brachia forte remisit, 

Atque ilium in prseceps prono rapit alveus amni. 

None of the boys could construe the word “ atque.” The 
ordinary meaning of “ atque ” is “ and.” I thought to myself, 
if I left off’ rowing when pulling against stream, it is 
common sense that the boat would immediately carry me 
down stream. I was a long way down the class, and 
when my turn came to answer as to what was the English 
of digue, I jumped up boldly and sung out, “Atque, imme- 
diately.” “ Good boy,” said Dr. Wordsworth, “take their 
places;” and if I recollect right I took twenty-two places 



WINCHESTER 



19 



at one leap, and marched in triumph from the bottom to 
within two of the top of the class. I have a strong idea that 
when school-hour came I got a licking from two or three boys 
for knowing what the English of atque was. There was 
one consolation, however. The next day I was set on in 
Dr. WordSWorth’s new edition of the Greek grammar, of 
which he was especially fond, but which we boys, who 
knew the old Greek grammar pretty well, hated with all 
our hearts. I had to interpret something connected with 
the formation of the aorists of some horrible Greek verb. 
1 never could understand Greek grammar, and I never 
shall, knowing nothing about these aorists, preterplu- 
perfects, and things of that kind. So Wordsworth’s Greek 
grammar atque — immediately — sunk me, like a stone round 
my neck, to my old position at the bottom of the class, 
and, if I recollect right, tAvo places lower than whence I 
started. ' 

‘We boys were very fond of recording maltranslations. 
1 recollect one of my own. Dr. Moberly had “ put me on ” 
to translate a passage which I confess I had never looked 
at. I was pulled up short at the words “ Numinis Idcei” 
which ought to mean “ of the god of Ida.” I translated it 
“ of the Numidean Ideus.” I also recollect one boy, whose 
name was Salmon — of course I cannot forget that name — 
translating — 

Aspice bis senos lsetantes agmine cycnos (2En. i. 393), 

which ought to be “ behold twice six swans.” He trans- 
lated it “ Behold two old swans.” The following translation 
is also a legend among Winchester boys : — 

Silvestrem tenui musam meditaris a vena (Eel. i. 2), 



20 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



which being properly interpreted would read as follows: 
ii Meclitaris , thou art playing ; silvestrem musam, a rustic 
song ; tenui avend , on your slender flute.” The following 
very different version, however, was given by the unfortu- 
nate boy, thus : “ Tenui , I held ; silvestrem musam , my 
woody muse ; meditaris arend, on the shores of^the Medi- 
terranean.” Other maltranslations, from the records of 
public schools, are given in that admirable little book, “ The 
Art of Pluck.” “ Et tu Brute,” “ You brute, you.” “Maid 
duds avi domum,” which ought to be “ Thou art taking 
her ” (Helen) “ home under bad auspices,” was rendered 
thus : “ Thou bringest apples to the house of thy grand- 
father.” “ Ite, capelli,” u Go it, you cripples.” “ Terra 
mutat vices,” u The Earth changes her shift.” The author 
of “ The Art of Pluck ” then proceeds to observe, “ From 
which examples is seen, first, how simple words, which 
cannot be construed wrong so far as grammar concerneth, 
may yet be turned by fit attention to a wrong meaning ; 
how, secondly, a complex sentence so turned to a wrong 
meaning may yet be further improved in wrongness by 

bad grammar, as happened with Mr. Thomas , of 

College, who, when he had construed ‘ Hannibal Alpes 
transivit summd diligentid ,’ ‘ Hannibal passed over the Alps 
on the top of a diligence,’ was straightway reproved by the 
examiner as having construed wrong ; whereon he yet 
improved the wrongness by bad grammar, construing thus : 
‘ The Alps passed over Hannibal on the top of a diligence;’ 
and again, by worse grammar, c A diligence passed over 
Hannibal on the top of the Alps.’ ” I only recollect one 
Greek maltranslation. It was this : teal i^eXdoov e%w 6 
YlsTpos s/cXavas Trucpws, which should be u And I eter 



WINCHESTER 



21 



went out and wept bitterly.” The undergraduate, whose 
brain was crammed by the coach to the utmost, translated 
it “ And Peter went out and slammed the door violently.” 
I have lately heard one in Portuguese that really took place. 
A certain lad received extra pay on board ship as being a 
great linguist. The ship was disabled, and put into a 
Portuguese harbour with a broken mast. The interpreter 
did not know a word of Portuguese, and Avas puzzled how 
to get out of the mess. Some one said, “All right; all 
you have to do is to speak English and put an ‘ o ’ at the 
end of every word.” So when the Portuguese ship car- 
penter came on board, the interpreter boldly went up to 
him and said, “ Look-o here-o, Ave-o want-o neAv-o mast-o 
ship-o.” The puzzled carpenter answered, “ Non intendi” 
i.e. 11 1 don’t understand.” The captain roared out to the 
interpreter, “ What does he say ? ” The interpreter very 
sharply answered, “ Oh, he says you can’t have it under 
ten days.” “ Oh, confound him ! ” said the captain, “ that 
won’t do for me. What fools these Portuguese are ! ” 

c The passenger by the train from Winchester to South- 
ampton, if he looks out of the window just as he passes 
Winchester station, will see a hill on the downs, sur- 
rounded by a ditch and a valley and a rampart. This is 
St. Catherine’s Hill, or, as Ave boys called it, “ Hills.” At 
certain seasons of the year we were marched on to these 
hills before breakfast. The custom Avas to keep line, while 
the prasfect of Hills “ Avhipped in ” Avith a ground-ash as 
Ave ascended the hill. When we got within the remains 
of the old earth fortification Avhich forms a kind of croAvn 
to the hill, we broke up. Many of the boys played foot- 
ball or cricket. For my OAvn part, I never did either ; my 



22 



LIFE OF FEANK BUCKLAND 



great delight was to dig out field mice, and at that time 
there were a great lot of field mice on “ Hills.” They make 
long burrows through the turf of the downs, and then into 
the chalk itself. Ikere are certaiii signs by which the 
experienced “ mouse-digger ” can tell whether the mouse is 
in the hole or not, but, for the benefit of the little mice, I 
shall not give the present Winchester boys this know- 
ledge: let them acquire it for themselves. Having dis- 
covered a hole with a mouse in it, the next process is to 
pass down it a flexible stick, and this showed where the 
hole had taken a turn. We then dug down to this turn, 
and passing the stick further up the burrow, dug down to 
it again. In about three diggings 1 generally managed to 
get the mouse, but the last part of these engineering 
operations had to be conducted with very great care, as 
the mouse generally made a bolt for it. Little pickaxes 
used to be sold at a certain shop in Winchester ; we called 
these “ mouse-diggers.” During the holidays I was initi- 
ated into the noble art of fox-hunting by my uncle, 
Thomas Morland, who kept the Berkshire hounds at 
Sheepstead, near Abingdon. He was then very parti- 
cular about having the fox earths stopped. Acting, there- 
fore, upon my experience in the matter, I took very good 
care to stop all the mouse earths that were within a rea- 
sonable distance of the one on which I was operating. 
The consequence of this and other precautions was, that I 
was looked up to by the other boys as the most experienced 
mouse-digger in the college. I also tried to set the 
fashion of eating these field mice as we caught them. On 
some mornings we were fearfully hungry on the top of 
these hills (we went there before breakfast). I used to 



WINCHESTER 



23 



skin the mice, run a bit of stick through them, and roast 
them in front of a fire which I made out of sticks collected 
from a fence which divided “ Hills ” from a ploughed field. 
This hedge belonged to one Farmer Bridger, who com- 
plained to the warden about our burning his hedge, so 
I had to take the mice home and cook them in college. A 
roast field mouse — not a house mouse — is a splendid bonne 
Louche for a hungry boy ; it eats like a lark. • Mice cooked 
in college were not nearly so good as mice cooked on 
“ Hills.” 

‘ The prefects, that is the senior boys, were not required 
to go on the hill • they were allowed to wander about the 
water-meadows below ; and each prmfect was permitted to 
be accompanied by the junior boy he chose to invite. 
How, I was then a good hand at trapping and snaring 
anything, and it soon got about that I knew how to wire 
trout. My skill was put to the test, and after that I very 
seldom went on the hill again — which I regretted, because 
I was fond of mouse-digging — as I had to wire trout for 
the prefects’ breakfasts. The guardian of these meadows 
was a funny old fellow, who lived in a wretched cabin close 
by a certain weir, and we boys knew him as “ Waterman.” 
When, therefore, we started on our trouting expeditions, 
the first thing to do was to send out scouts to “ mark 
down” Waterman, and generally a decoy party was sent 
out without any wires • their duty was to poke about and 
pretend to look for trout, while myself and the real 
poachers were at work quite in an opposite direction. The 
wires I used were the finest pianoforte wires, and there is 
great art in making the noose and passing it over the 
trout’s head. We did not do much harm after all, for the 



24 



LIFE OF FKANK BUCKLAND 



water was so clear and the trout so artful, that we never 
caught very many. “ Waterman,” though, once very nearly 
caught me ; but I gave him a tremendous chase across the 
meadows and through the various watercourses, and ulti- 
mately had to swim the river to get away from him. The 
sleeves of our college gowns acted as pockets, and I had 
two trout in one sleeve and one in another. When swim- 
ming the river the fish in my sleeves came to life again, 
and I had a hard jpb to land myself and my fish. 

‘ Rat-hunting was a celebrated sport of us boys. There 
was a mill which adjoined our playground, which we called 
“ Meads.” The miller used to catch the rats in the mill 
and let them down in a round wire rat-trap (how well I 
recollect that trap !) out of a little porthole window in the 
mill, by means of a string. We then turned the rats out 
one at a time in the middle of the cricket-ground, and 
gave them a due amount of law ; when they got their 
proper distance “ the hounds ” were laid on. “ The hounds” 
were not allowed to use sticks or stones, but had to catch 
the rat by the tail — a very difficult operation, I can assure 
you, and the rats bite fearfully if you do not know how to 
handle them. You should twist them round and round 
the moment you get a hold on the tail. If a rat showed 
particularly good sport he was kept to hunt again on an 
off day when the miller had no rats. 

‘ I was also, I am sorry to say, very fond of wiring cats. 
There was a grating in a certain iron door named “ Moab.' 
(The reader must know that “ Moab ” was the place where 
some marble basins and washing accommodation had been 
erected for the use of the boys ; we christened it Moab on 
account of the passage, “ Moab is my wash-pot. ) The cats 



WINCHESTER 



25 



used to come through the grating at “ Moab ” gate, but 
they were very artful, and used to push the wires on one 
side. The first cat I caught was the “ sick-house ” cat. 
Now “sick-house” was the hospital for the boys, and 
“ Mother ” was the kind-hearted old matron who looked 
after it. Of course I let “ Mother’s ” cat go free, and 
“ Mother ” never found me out, though I think she always 
suspected me. 

‘ There were a great many jackdaws in the college 
tower. The bell-ringer’s name was “ Dungee ; ” the under 
porter’s, “ Joel : ” college porters from time immemorial at 
Winchester have been called by the names of the minor 
prophets in succession. Dungee and Joel taught me to 
ring bells, and I was very fond of going to assist. When 
the young jackdaws were fit to take, Dungee, Joel, and 
myself used to collect them out of the holes in the tower. 
We reared them and let them fly when they were properly 
fledged. The mother jackdaws used frequently to come to 
feed their young when we boys were in school at lessons. 
We used to get up early in the morning to catch lob- 
worms to feed the jackdaws. I frequently tried a plan to 
catch the Winchester rooks. It is this : roll up a piece of 
brown paper in the shape of a cone, place a piece of cheese 
at the far end of it, then put plenty of birdlime or pitch 
inside ; the bird puts his head into the cone, the birdlime 
sticks to his feathers, he attempts to fly, and tumbles about 
in a ridiculous manner. I confess I was not very successful 
at this fun ; the Winchester rooks seemed to have imbibed 
some of the learning of the place. 

‘ Though we were very fond of rat-hunting and mouse- 
digging, yet we did not have much to do with fire-arms. 



26 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



When dining last year at. the regular Wykehamist dinner 
an old brother Wykehamist told me that he well recollected 
in his time that Dr. Gable once suddenly called upon all 
the boys to parade their Ainsworth’s dictionaries. One lad 
brought up his dictionary with fear and trembling. Dr. 
Gable found it would not open ; he therefore made the boy 
open it, when it was discovered that the leaves had been 
beautifully glued together, and it had been converted into 
a case for a brace of pistols. This same boy’s “ scob ” (or 
school box) was then searched, and instead of the proper 
amount of classical books that should have been there, 
the Doctor found a brace of live ferrets eating a fowl’s 
head. 

£ A great deal has been said and written about the 
cruelty of “ fagging,” and more especially of “ funding,” at 
Winchester. As in almost every case under dispute, there 
are two ways of looking at this matter. Kept within bounds, 
“ funding ” is an excellent institution, but of course may be 
sometimes very much abused, particularly if the praefect 
happen to have a bad temper. The boys of this generation 
would be a great deal better for a little judicious “funding.” 
I lately had a page boy who could work well if he liked ; 
one day, after a series of omissions, such as not cleaning 
the monkeys’ night cage when they were in their day cage 
— not feeding the parrot — omitting to brush clothes — 
boots not ready — the room where I cast fish left untidy, 
&c., always “ thinking ” (see my definition of thinking 
above) — I called him up and said, “Now, John, I’m going 
to give you a present of fifty pounds.” The boy’s face 
brightened up, and he said, “ Oh, thank you, sir.’ “ It’s 
not in money, though, John,” said I. “ I’m going to give 



WINCHESTER 



27 



you a jolly good hiding, and that will be worth fifty pounds 
to you.” 

‘ All I can say in concluding these remarks is, that the 
jolly good hidings and the severe fagging I got as a lad at 
Winchester have been of the utmost value to me in after 
life, and therefore I should be very sorry to see “ fagging” 
and “ funding ” altogether done away with at Winchester. 
God bless the dear old place, and all Wykehamists, past, 
present, and future.’ 

At Winchester Frank Buckland made many lifelong 
friends, who yet retain a vivid recollection of his school life, 
and from some of them the following reminiscences are 
gathered : — 

‘ Imagine a short, quick-eyed little boy, with a shock 
head of reddish brown hair (not much amenable to a hair- 
brush), a white neck-cloth tied like a piece of rope with no 
particular bow, and his bands sticking out under either ear 
as fancy pleased him — in fact, a boy utterly indifferent to 
personal appearance, but good-tempered and eccentric, 
with a small museum in his sleeve or cupboard, sometimes 
a snake, or a pet mouse, or a guinea-pig, or even a hedge- 
hog. In the summer he would be always in the hedgerows 
after birds, weasels, or mice, or in the water-meadows 
after crayfish, tomculls, and other fish which hide under 
stones. He was known as an expert hand in skinning 
badgers, rats, &c., and also setting wires at Blue-Gate for 
cats ; old Purver, a college servant, used to find them 
early in the morning when he went through into school 
to light the fires. In fact, he was a born naturalist.’ 1 

1 1 remember,’ another schoolfellow writes, 2 c sleeping 
1 Mr. Frederick Gale. 2 Mr. T. W. Erie. 



28 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



next becl to him for six months in “ Third Chamber ; ” 
he used to get up in the middle of the night, and de- 
signedly in half-darkness carefully bind two fagot sticks 
together, for the purpose, as he said, of accustoming 
himself to be called up as a surgeon, half asleep, to do 
some professional duty under adverse circumstances. I 
remember his starting a diary, and at the same time a 
hedgehog. The diary remained in abeyance, and the 
hedgehog was always being lost. So I undertook the 
diary, and it consisted of “ lost hedgehog,” “ found hedge- 
hog,” and so on on alternate days, till at last there came 
the final and fatal entry of “ ate hedgehog ! ” We messed 
at what was called the same “ end,” that is to say, we 
dined at the end of the same table, and the hedgehog was 
one of the strange things which sometimes appeared at 
the table there. 

‘ One day he caught a young adder, and removed the 
poison fangs, after which he lent or gave it to me, and it 
lived inside my college waistcoat for a long time. He dis- 
sected a series of cats ; and when the warden’s mastiff 
died, I remember his dissecting the eye: my first know- 
ledge of eyes, which is now pretty good, dates from that 
occurrence.’ 

The raid on the cats was begun in defence of certain 
rabbits, kept by some college boys, which, though tech- 
nically illegal, Avere winked at by the authorities. The 
rabbits had suffered sad depredations at the claws of a 
cat, and it Avas determined to defend the weak, and punish 
the invader, which was speedily Avired, and the following 
afternoon was devoted to the skinning of it. Many other 
cats after this shared the like fate, including a large black 



WINCHESTER 



29 



and white tomcat of Dr. Moberly’s, brought in with 
triumph ; his skin was a treasure. The fellows in Frank’s 
college chamber were much exercised by a very offensive 
and persistent odour in the room, and on investigation it 
was traced to the box under his bed, where were dis- 
covered the remains of a cat, which he had for some time 
been in the habit of dissecting member by member on 
the sly in bed, and, as the operation lasted a considerable 
time, the complaint of an ill odour was not unfounded. 

The skinning of his specimens used to take place in 
Moab ; aud the doors of the lockers there, both inside and 
out, were adorned with the skins of cats, rats, mice, bats, 
et hoc genus omne, duly peppered to prevent smell. His 
maceration pots at Amen Corner, with heads of hares, 
rabbits, cats, &c., being reduced to skulls, were things to 
be avoided. 

‘Frank and I,’ writes another , 1 ‘were always great 
friends; for though the distance between a junior in 
chambers and a praefect in full power was rather a wide 
one, yet a community of tastes brought us together. I 
remember that, at one time, an exposition of cooking 
came on my fellow-prasfect and myself in Sixth Chamber. 
We used to make apple dumplings with, as may be sup- 
posed, the heaviest of all possible paste, and boil them at 
about twelve o’clock at night, tied in a neck-cloth ! 
Frank would always volunteer his neck-cloth, which was 
unstarched, and used to beg to be called when the dump- 
lings “came off.” Many a time have I seen him sitting 

# to 

up in bed eating the proceeds of our cookery, which I own 



1 Dr. Merriman. 



30 



LIFE OF FLANK BUCKLAND 



we the cooks had too much regard for our digestion to 
attempt. 

‘ Frank, too, set up a sort of amateur dispensary or 
hospital. He had a patient or two. One man X remem- 
ber 3 with a bad hand, who used to come down to College 
Gate at twelve o’clock to consult him and be experimented 
upon. In his toys (cupboard) he had various bottles and 
specimens, one very highly treasured possession being a 
three-legged chicken. 

c His own natural disposition was of the sweetest and 
gentlest. I never saw him in a passion, though he used 
to get a good deal teased at one time for his untidiness. 
But he always had a bright smile amidst it all, and was 
ready to do anything for anybody immediately after. One 
thing used to strike me very much about him, and that 
was his exceeding love for his mother. Boys are generally 
reticent upon this point, but Frank seemed never tired of 
telling me about his, and how much he owed her.’ 

c Good-humoured, full of spirits, uniformly amiable and 
obliging,’ writes another old schoolfellow , 1 1 Old Buck- 
land, or Fat Buckland, as he was usually called, became 
the most popular boy in the school ; every one brightened 
into amusement at the sound of his loud voice and merry 
laugh, and the tremendous “ view halloa ” which preceded 
and announced his coming.’ 

Fond of school work he was not, but he did his duty 
fairly, got through his £ construes ’ somehow, and ground 
the regulation grist of dreary Greek and Latin verse. 
Neither did he care for games. Already his naturalist 
pursuits absorbed him. He did not so much regard the 

1 Bev. W. Tuckwell. 



WINCHESTER 



31 



chalk fossils which abound in the Winchester hills ; he 
had no microscope, neither was he a collector of insects. 
His delight was to study the habits of live animals, and 
to examine their structure when dead. An owl, a buzzard, 
and a raccoon were successive tenants of one of his lockers. 
A whole regiment of tame jackdaws owned him as their 
patron, headed by an evil-looking magpie, with a name 
not mentionable to ears polite, all of whom he used to 
feed twice a day with bread and milk from c sick-house.’ 
His hedgehogs kept open a perpetual fosse at the base of 
the wall bounding the college meads, and a good deal 
of agility was generated one day by Frank’s appearance 
in the schoolroom at the crowded moment, just before the 
entrance of the master, brandishing a bottle of ammonia, 
and proclaiming that the viper had got loose. He was 
a dexterous taxidermist, and might be seen on a half- 
holiday in the deserted c Moab ’ or lavatory, plying his 
scalpel, and surrounded by a smell of corrosive sublimate, 
the subjects being cats, bats, which nested in a hollow 
plane tree in the meads ; and moles, of whose skins he 
constructed a very comfortable waistcoat. The flayed 
bodies of the smaller creatures were sometimes eaten ; 
squirrel pie, and mice cooked in batter, ranking as special 
dainties; oftener tied up in gallipots, and buried in the 
mud of a villanous puddle, called Log Pond, till the flesh 
fell from the bones, and it became easy to articulate the 
skeleton. Towards the end of his school days his ana- 
tomical studies enlarged their scope ; gruesome fragments 
of humanity were conveyed secretly from the hospital, and 
as secretly dissected. He came to look on his school- 
fellows with a professional eye. One R 3 a boy with a 



32 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



dolicocephalous head, used to relate with a slight shiver 
that he had overheard Buckland muttering to himself, 

‘ What wouldn’t 1 give for that fellow’s skull ! ’ 

It was a rare treat to walk with him in the beautiful 
water-meadows of the Itchen, into which on summer 
evenings the bounds of school imprisonment were ex- 
tended. He knew every bird in the hedges, every snake, 
shrew, or water-rat in the banks, every eel and crayfish 
in the pleasant streams of £ Simmonds,’ and £ Old Barge,’ 
and ‘Adam and Eve,’ and ‘Waterman’s Hut,’ and had 
a thousand anecdotes to tell of them. Reserved with 
the boys in general, who looked upon him and his hobby 
as an amusing enigma, he bestowed all his enthusiasm on 
those who could understand and share it. If his naturalist 
ardour marked him off from ordinary boys, so also did his 
unfailing kindness and cordiality to all around him. Pro- 
bably no one of his schoolfellows can recall, in thinking of 
him, an ill-natured utterance or an oppressive deed during 
all his years at Winchester. Very many recollect with 
gratitude acts of quiet friendship and words of good- 
humoured counsel, which came with double force from one 
so simple and so modest, yet who lived so evidently a life 
high-principled and blameless. 

‘ It was during my last two years with him at Win- 
chester,’ writes another, 1 ‘that we were most together. 
He was my pupil at his own request (as was also his 
brother), and the last year was with me in Third Chamber. 
During that time we were constant companions ; when we 
went to “ Hills” he generally came “off” with me, and we 
spent our time in the water-meadows, or in the chalk 

1 Rev. E. Fox. 



WINCHESTER 



33 



quarries. The river was not unfrequently the last home 
of a dead dog or cat ; and, whenever it was possible, the 
carcase was rescued and decapitated, the head being car- 
ried home to College in his handkerchief. This was dis- 
sected most carefully, each bone by itself — a process which 
was not very sweet to the olfactory nerves ; and then 
came the question where to bestow the treasures. In the 
locker ? they were soon emptied by the owner of the next 
locker ; they were buried, but the cats dug them up ; they 
were placed in a basin of water under his bed ; the bed- 
maker threw them into the fire. At last, however, a safe 
stowage place was found. Frank made friends with the 
bell-ringer, and was permitted to carry skulls, bones, and 
muscles up to the top of the Chapel tower. Here, exposed 
to air, sun, and rain, in due season they were bleached, and 
then, when warranted sweet, they were brought down and 
ranged in order at the head of his bed in Third Chamber. 
The bed became quite a lion ; warden, master, and porter 
often took visitors into the chamber to see the strange 
medley of animal remains there exhibited. 

c As a senior he was very kind to his juniors, even to 
giving them an occasional dose of medicine, and his reme- 
dies were certainly effectual though sometimes severe. 

c A box on the ear, commonly in Winchester language 
called a “ clow,” always excited his indignation. “ It’s a 
shame,” he used to say, “ and may hurt a boy for ever. Take 
a ground-ash and use it on the proper place, that will do 
no harm and all the good in the world ; ” but I think he was 
too kind to have ever used it himself on anyone.’ 

‘ Frank and I,’ writes another, 1 ‘ were at Winchester 
1 Rev. J. A. Gould. 



D 



34 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



together, where we were always fast friends. In school hours 
he was a painstaking and conscientious worker, never learn- 
ing his lessons or preparing his task quicker or better than 
when he had some pet, a dormouse or sometimes a snake, 
twisting and wriggling inside his college waistcoat, which, 
having found its way out at his boots, would be carefully 
replaced under the waistcoat to go through the same journey 
again. 

‘ We were both of us lucky in having some good praefect 
friends. It was a prasfect’s privilege to call off two or three 
boys to ramble with him, in the water meads or elsewhere, 
instead of going with the less fortunate others to the top 
of Mons Catherina. It was here, amidst the ditches and 
trout streams by which the meads were intersected, that 
Frank was in his glory. Here he would spend his whole 
time, watching with keenest interest the habits of the water- 
beetles, or the development of tadpoles and caddis-flies, or 
the antics of some favourite old water-rat. Not that the 
Waterman (the occupant, i.e. of Waterman’s Hut, a much 
frequented place of resort in those days) was always pleased 
to see his genial face. Well did the Waterman know that 
concealed in the sleeve of Frank’s college gown was a 
deftly twisted wire, and in his waistcoat pocket a string, 
which he always kept there, with a knife and a sixpence, 
having been advised to that effect (as he once told me) by 
his godfather, and which would soon be extracted for the 
purpose of attaching the wire to the end of a willow or ash 
stick ; and should a big trout have gone up one of those side 
ditches for quiet and repose, the same big trout would in a 
few seconds be transferred to the bank and be lost to him 
for ever. “ What’s the matter ? ” I said to him one day, as I 



WINCHESTER 



35 



saw him looking very cross and most anxiously surveying 
the watery territory of which he was the deputy warden. 

< “ What’s the matter ? ” (he answered gruffly) ; “ why, 
there’s that young Buckland about, isn’t there ? and there’s 
no keeping no fish nor nuffin’ from him.” ’ 

It was while at Winchester that Frank first set his heart 
on becoming a surgeon. He chose as a parting gift from 
one of his tutors (in lieu of Goldsmith’s poems or such like 
book) c Graham’s Domestic Medicine,’ and studied it atten_ 
tively. One of his favourite ways of spending his holiday 
during the latter part of his stay was in going to the 
hospital, of which he wrote home in 1843 as follows : — 

‘ We had leave out last Monday. I went with Mr. Butler 
over the Winchester Hospital, and was very much amused. 
We saw sundry fractures in all parts of the human body. 
I could not see any operation, but I shall go over again, I 
think next Tuesday. I think I would like to be a surgeon 
above all things, and to have the management of all these 
sharp knives and broken limbs, eyes, &c., if I understood it 
all. 

1 Mother (the matron at the sick-house) asked me to kill 
her cat on Tuesday, which I did by a blow on the neck ; she 
was nearly dead because she had gone away and stayed 
without food for some time, and Mother could not make her 
eat ; I skinned her and put her body in chloride of lime, 
but the flesh would not come off as I wanted it, so I cut 
off her skull and boiled it for three hours, and it is now 
beautifully white and clean. The warden’s large mastiff 
was shot the other day because it had got the distemper. 
I got the warden’s boy to get me the head : I was very hard 
at work yesterday cleaning it, i.e. cutting the flesh off: I 



36 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



am going 1 to get it boiled, and tlien it will be fit to keep : it 
will make a beautiful skull, I think. 

‘ We had leave out last Tuesday, and I went up to the 
hospital again, where I met Mr. Paul the house-surgeon. 
I walked through some of the wards, and saw the same 
legs and arms in bandages and splints which I saw last 
week broken and not yet set. I did not see many cases, be- 
cause I went directly into the operating theatre, where an 
amputation had been performed that morning : the leg was 
lying on the table, so I immediately pulled out my pocket- 
knife and began dissecting it. It had been amputated j ust 
above the knee. It was just like a leg of beef with yellow 
fat, &c., and I daresay it would have disgusted you if you 
had not been accustomed to dissection. However, I cut 
away some of the bottom of the foot to look at some 
muscles, and then I cut off a great piece of skin ; I put it in 
my handkerchief, and took it down to the tanner’s to be 
tanned. The man there turned it about, but could not find 
out what it was. I shall have it back next Tuesday, I hope 
tanned like ox-leather. It is very thick, thicker than you 
would expect. Mr. Paul laughed at me for skinning the 
leg, and particularly when I pocketed the skin. I told 
the tanner it was the hide of a curious animal (which is 
true). The boys in College were very much disgusted at 
mv exploits, nevertheless I have had applications made for 
skin. I shall bring a good piece home with me. Could you 
manage to send me a lancet by post ? 

With the lancet when it arrived he practised bleeding 
on those of his companions who were courageous enough 
to allow themselves to be operated on, offering sixpence 
as an inducement. 



WINCHESTER 



37 



The Christmas vacation of 1843 was spent as usual at 
Christ Church, Oxford. At this date there is the following 
entry in his Journal, which he had begun to keep regularly 
in 1842 : — 

‘ Father gave me a collection of bones. Round Oxford 
Infirmary with Dr. Wootton ; fainted at my first operation, 
an amputation by Wingfield ; but I had been up all night 
at Abingdon ball.’ 

In July 1844 he left Winchester for Christ Church, 
on which occasion Dr. Moberly wrote thus to Dr. Buck- 
land : — 

£ On taking leave of your son Frank from Winchester, 
I am most anxious to express to you my high sense of his 
great good conduct and attention while he has been under 
my care. He has been unfailingly steady and careful in 
everything which he has had to do, and carries away the 
character of a most amiable and right-minded fellow.’ 

‘ I always,’ Bishop Moberly writes again, in 1882, 1 had 
the utmost satisfaction in him as a school-boy ; and I look 
back with very great regard to his simple earnest character, 
and his devotion to the studies which have made him so 
well known. To me he was just what I always found 
him, full of curious information, excellently kind-tempered 
and affectionate. It is a long time since I saw him, but 
I always thought of him with great regard and affection.’ 



38 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCIvLAND 



CHAPTER III. 

CHRIST CHURCH, 1844 — 1848 . 

In October 1844, Frank Buckland entered Clirist Church, 
Oxford, as a commoner, Dr. Gaisford being then Dean. 
He was admitted student in December, and remained at 
Oxford until Easter term 1848, when he took his B.A. 
degree. 

Where the Meadow Buildings of Christ Church now 
stand, then stood the old 1 Fell’s Buildings,’ already much 
dilapidated, and which were pulled down in 1858. There 
was a small court between them and the Canons’ gardens. 

In Fell’s Buildings Frank had his rooms on the ground 
floor during his college course, and pursued his zoological 
and surgical studies with equal energy and originality : he 
made use of the court as a menagerie ; continually adding 
to his collection specimens zoological and anatomical, living 
and dead. Amongst the former were a young bear named 
Tiglath Pileser, Jacko the monkey, an eagle, a jackal, 
besides marmots, guinea-pigs, squirrels and dormice, an 
adder and many harmless snakes and slow-worms, tor- 
toises, green frogs, and a chameleon. Skeletons and stuffed 
specimens were numerous, and often anatomical prepara- 
tions were in progress in the court. The live pets had a 
tendency to stray. One morning Frank was called in 



CHRIST CHURCH 



39 



haste to remove the marmot from the Chapter-house, as the 
Chapter was about to meet. Another morning the eagle 
stationed himself in the Chapel doorway and attacked those 
who wished to enter, till he was rolled up in one of the 
students’ gowns and carried off ignominiously. 

The long vacations of 1845 and 1846 were passed at 
Giessen with Baron Liebig, in accordance with the advice 
of Dean Conybeare of Llandaff, his father’s friend and 
companion in geological research, thus expressed : — 

‘ My young friend Frank, with his talents and your 
reputation, is quite sure of running a very brilliant career 
in the profession he has chosen with all the ardent interest 
that marks genius. Do send him to Liebig in the long 
vacation ; that I am sure will be every way most useful to 
his career ; he is a great friend of mine, and I like him as 
much for his modesty and civil attention to his seniors as 
I respect him for his talents and keen powers of observa- 
tion, which he has inherited and learnt from you.’ 

Many characteristic reminiscences of Frank’s Oxford 
life are preserved by his fellow-students. 

‘ I remember well,’ one writes, 1 ‘ the first time I saw 
him on my journey to Oxford to matriculate. I was travel- 
ling from Salisbury, he from Winchester. At that time the 
whole journey could not be accomplished by railroad, and I 
struck the coach at some point. On the box was Frank, 
and a very strange-looking little fellow I thought him, 
but saw at once that he was unlike anyone else. Of 
course we very soon began to talk, and Frank afforded us 
plenty of amusement with his conversation. I can see 
him now, and remember the eager way in which he observed 

1 Mr. Herbert Fisher. 



40 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



everything. Once when we stopped to change horses, a 
lame one was brought out. Frank immediately leapt from 
the box and proceeded to investigate the cause of the 
lameness, taking up the horse’s foreleg and examining the 
foot. I believe that he thought he had discovered what was 
the matter; at all events; he held forth on the subject, much 
to our amusement and that of the coachman and ostlers. 
We proceeded on our way, and after a short time Frank 
took off his hat and produced a large moth which he had 
found that morning in Winchester Chapel, and which he 
began to examine carefully, calling our attention to its 
characteristics. 

1 Recalling that journey, I cannot help remarking that 
Frank was exactly then what he always continued to be. 
For of all men whom I have known, I should think that 
he must have changed the least with advancing years. 

‘ At Christ Church Frank was a member of a small 
debating society started by Lord Dufferin, to which I also 
belonged. Besides debates, each member had in turn to 
contribute an essay. Of course, after the manner of young 
men, we wrote and debated upon subjects far removed from 
common life. Imagine, therefore, our amusement when 
Frank announced as the subject of his first essay, “ Whether 
Rooks are Beneficial to the Farmer or not.” He read his 
composition with the greatest seriousness. We who were 
accustomed to discuss the character of Cromwell, Charles I., 
and so on, were of course almost dying with suppressed 
laughter at this delicious innovation. I quite forget how 
Frank settled the matter, or what happened afterwards, 
when, according to the usual practice, we ought to have 
discussed the subject of the essay ; but I think he must 



CUEIST CHURCH 



41 



have had it all his own way. I don’t think that even 
Lord Dufferin, with all his versatile genius, made much of 
the rooks. 

‘On another occasion I remember his coming armed 
with a translation of Herodotus, frankly confessing that 
he rather preferred the English version to the Greek, to 
discuss some points of Egyptian Natural History. The 
crocodile and the trochilus came in, I think, for a fair 
share of attention.’ 

Another paper read before this society was an elaborate 
history of the Dodo, collecting all the fragmentary know- 
ledge which exists of this extinct bird. 

‘ Unhappily, of late we scarcely ever met, though at 
Christ Church I saw him constantly, and he was always 
j ust the same ; and so 1 am sure he must have remained 
to the last, a genuine child of nature, with a mind full of 
child-like mirth and gaiety, yet rendered serious by the 
eagerness with which he scanned all natural objects, so 
intense that no room was left for the slightest thought of 
self. He seemed to assume that everyone must take as 
much interest in these things as himself, and this imparted 
that freshness and sincerity to his conversation which 
made him so attractive a companion to people of every 
kind ; for he knew no distinction of persons. As I write 
at this moment, I remember the last time I saw him. It 
was at the South Kensington Museum. He was explain- 
ing his salmon-breeding apparatus to the Duke of Rich- 
mond, and looked and talked just as he had done on the 
Oxford coach.’ 

‘ He was the first man,’ Dr. Liddon writes, ‘ who called 
on me when I came up to Christ Church. I was in 



42 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



“ garrets ’ in Peckwater, and had arrived the previous 
night, and, as I knew only a few people, was feeling very 
lonely and strange. He came into my room after break- 
last, and said some cheery words, and told me, I remember, 
that it was a “ good thing to try to have plenty to say to 
men.” I have always remembered this visit with gratitude, 
and this piece of advice ; this was in October 1846. He 
often asked me to breakfast with him in his rooms in 
“ Fell’s Buildings.” One of these breakfasts was in the 
spring, and it coincided with a great event ; the marmots, 
which had hybernated in the cellar below, had just, as he 
expressed it, “ thawed.” There was great excitement ; the 
creatures ran about the table, as entitled to the honours of 
the day ; though there were other beasts and reptiles in 
the room too, which in later life would have made break- 
fasting difficult. Speaking of reptiles, one very early 
incident in my Oxford life was joining in a hunt of 
Frank’s adder. It had escaped into Mr. Benson’s rooms, 
and was pursued into the bedroom by a group of under- 
graduates, who had however different objects in view. 
Frank certainly had the well-being of the adder chiefly at 
heart ; the rest of us, I fear, were governed by the lower 
motive of escaping being bitten anyhow — if, consistently 
with the adder’s safety, well — if not, still of escaping. 
Eventually the adder was caught, I believe, without great 
damage. This must have been in 1847. 

‘ One day I met Frank just outside Tom Gate. His 
trowsers’ pockets were swollen out to an enormous size ; 
they were full of slow-worms in damp moss. 1 rank 
explained to me, that this combination of warmth and 
moisture was good for the slow-worms, and that they 



CHRIST CHURCH 



43 



enjoyed it. They certainly were very lively, poking their 
heads out incessantly, while he repressed them with the 
palms of his hands. 

‘ I was in chapel on that Sunday morning when the 
eagle came in at the eight o’clock service. The cloister 
door had been left open, and the bird found its way into 
the church, while the Te Deum was being sung, and 
advanced with its wings nearly spread out. Two or three 
men left their places to deal with it ; Dean Gaisford 
looked unspeakable things. 

‘ Of the bear I have a much less distinct recollection ; 
but the jackal was, I might almost say, a personal friend. 
He was fastened up in the court outside Fell’s Buildings; 
and I recollect how, under some odd and painful irritation, 
he used to go round and round, eating off his tail. Frank 
expressed great sympathy with him, modified by strong 
curiosity — he wondered how far Jacky would eat up into 
his back ! 

‘ He was certainly one of the most popular men in 
Christ Church : when he was in the schools, to be ex- 
amined viva voce , almost the whole undergraduate world 
of Christ Church was there ; I can even now recollect his 
being put on in a chorus of Sophocles. 

‘ He always struck me, in respect of the most serious 
matters, as combining strength and simplicity very re- 
markably; it was impossible to talk to him, and not to 
be sure that God, life, death and judgment were to him 
solid and constantly present realities.’ 

‘ It is not quite satisfactory,’ writes another fellow- 
student, 1 £ to look back from the present, when the natural 
1 Rev. St. John Tyrwhitt. 



44 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



sciences are fully and effectually taught in Oxford, and 
when earnest study in any of them is sure to meet en- 
couragement and ample reward, to a time when an ener- 
getic student of physics and born field-naturalist was con- 
sidered simply off his head for caring about nature. 

‘A great work has been done for Oxford physical 
studies, but still more striking and immediate results 
would certainly have followed, had Frank found proper in- 
struction in physiology here in his youth, and taken his 
place as one of its teachers in manhood. Both he and 
Oxford have done pretty well, but Oxford lost much in 
not keeping him. 

‘ The present Meadow Gate of Christ Church, Oxford, 
occupies nearly the same ground as that old postern, at the 
end of that old cloister passage, which elderly Oxford rowing 
men so well remember as a short way down to the boats. 

£ The new buildings were yet unthought of, and the 
space they now occupy was filled, somewhat insecurely 
and inconveniently, by the chaplain’s quadrangle on one 
side of the passage, and the single garden staircase on the 
other. The quiet parts of a college are like the quiet 
streets of London, subject to occasional and powerful dis- 
turbances of adjacent echoes by their inhabitants; and at 
that time, from morn to dewy eve, various sounds inter- 
mittingly broke the spell of academic silence in the 
building abutting on Christ Church Meadow. 

£ A post-horn or cornet would break forth into irregular 
practice; a supposed fox would be halloed away from an 
imaginary cover in the broad-walk ; a bear would utter his 
voice, or it might be a monkey ; or one or both animals 
might obtain temporary freedom and wander about college, 



CHRIST CHURCH 



45 



causing effervescence ; in short, tranquillity was far from 
slumbrous in the more retired parts of “ the house ; ” nor 
was it at once restored by the appearance of a very broad- 
backed young man of personal strength and activity 
greatly exceeding his moderate height, having a shock- 
chestnut-coloured head, a blue pea-jacket, a red German 
student’s cap with a gold tassel, with a presumably 
harmless snake hanging out of his trowsers’ pocket, and 
bearing a scalpel and a trumpet, or perhaps a long Swiss 
wooden cow-horn, and coming out from the ground-floor 
rooms on the right on the garden staircase. 

‘ There hung an odour of physical science about the 
rooms, which increased as you got nearer. If you passed 
through the outer room into the study, you found the oc- 
cupant surrounded by friends and playmates irrational or 
human, and deep in scientific investigation after his own 
fashion ; which, be it observed, was as industrious as it was 
irregular. As the son of a canon and well known to every- 
body, he was better understood than most persons, and 
noises never got him into trouble : but I think that the 
rest of us, who only thought of Greek and Latin reading, 
if we read at all, never quite understood the reality or the 
value of the work Frank was engaged in, or that he was 
in fact educating himself much better than most of us 
were doing.’ 

Dr. Merriman, his prefect at Winchester, renewed his 
friendship with him at Oxford. c Frank often came to visit 
me in my ground-floor rooms at New College ; I had a nice 
little piece of garden, wherein I kept a dog and a hedge- 
hog, in both of which Frank took a lively interest. 

‘ W ell do I remember his coming in one day, beaming 



4G 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



with delight, and saying, “ Oh ! Merriman, I have brought 
you something you will like ; ” and then, thrusting his hands 
into his breast-pocket, he pulled forth and placed on my 
table a snake. 

£ I remember also on one occasion going down to Christ 
Church to see him. As I opened his door he exclaimed, 
“ Oh ! Merriman, stop a minute — my adder is out ! ” I need 
hardly say I penetrated no farther until I saw him stoop 
down, catch the thing by the tail — its fangs had not been 
drawn — and swing it into a drawer, which was immediately 
shut. Just after this his father came in. It was soon after 
he was made Dean of Westminster. He had come down 
to lecture, and, opening the little black bag which he had 
in his hand, he produced a tortoise for Frank. I have 
often wondered whether it was the one which has now be- 
come famous all the world over as being decreed to be an 
££ insect ” in the judgment of the railway officers. 

£ He came down to me one day for the purpose of tell- 
ing me what he had for dinner the day before — namely, 
panther chops ! He was a great friend of the curator of 
the then existing Surrey Zoological Gardens. From him 
Frank heard one day that the panther was dead. “ I wrote 
up at once,” he said, ££ to tell him to send me down some 
chops. It had, however, been buried a couple of days, but 
I got them to dig it up and send me some. It was not 
very good.” ’ 

£ One evening,’ writes another college friend, 1 ‘when I 
was devoting an hour to coaching him up for his little go, 
I took care to tuck up my legs, in Turkish fashion, on the 
sofa for fear of a casual bite from the jackal which was 

1 Mr. Walter Stanhope. 



CHRIST CHURCH 



47 



wandering about the room. After a time I heard the 
animal munching up something under the sofa, and was 
relieved that he should have found something to occupy 
him. When our work was finished, I told Buckland that 
the jackal had found something to eat under the sofa. 
“ My poor guinea-pigs ! ” he exclaimed ; and, sure enough, 
four or five of them had fallen victims.’ 

Tiglath Pileser, the bear, was about six months old 
when he entered Christ Church, where he lived in a corner 
of a court beside Fell’s Buildings. He was provided with 
cap and gown, and in this costume was taken to wine 
parties, or went boating with his master, to the wonder- 
ment of the children in Christ Church Meadow, who would 
follow them down the walk leading to the boats, regardless 
of expostulations and threats, until sometimes the bear 
was turned loose and shambled after them, whereupon 
they fled. 

Tig, as he was familiarly called, took part in the pro- 
ceedings of the British Association at Oxford in 1847, at- 
tending in cap and gown the garden party at the Botanic 
Gardens, and receiving a visit from Lord Houghton, then 
Mr. Monckton Milnes, who attempted to mesmerise him in 
his corner. This made the bear furious, but he gradually 
yielded to the influence, and at last fell senseless on the 
ground. 

Of this meeting Sir Charles Lyell wrote : 1 In the evening 
we had an immense party at the Botanic Gardens. Young 
Buckland had a young bear dressed up as a student of 
Christ Church, with cap and gown, whom he formally 
introduced to me and successively to the Prince Canino 
(Charles Buonaparte), Milne Edwards, member of the 



48 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



French Institute, and Sir T. Acland. The bear sucked all 
our hands and was very caressing. Amid our shouts of 
laughter in the garden by moonlight, it was diverting to 
see two or three of the dons, who were very shy, not 
knowing how far their dignity was compromised.’ 

Tig at last fell under the censure of the Dean of Christ 
Church. ‘ Mr. Buckland,’ the Dean is reported to have 
said, 1 I hear you keep a bear in college ; well, either you 
or your bear must go.’ 

So Tig was sent to Islip, a living held by Dean Buckland, 
seven miles from Oxford, and lived there for some months 
with the eagle and Jacko, who had also been rusticated. 
Tig sometimes rode out on horseback with his master, at 
other times he took walking exercise, following any who 
would allow him to suck their fingers. This unsubstantial 
solace was so much to his taste that it was needful to pro- 
vide a lump of sugar to induce him to let go. 

From Islip, Tig once visited Canon and Mrs. Rawlinson 
at the neighbouring village of Merton, and was first put in 
the stable ; but the horses became so excited that he was 
removed to an outhouse. Soon after a maid, running across 
the fields breathless and capless, called Mrs. Rawlinson 
back from her walk, crying out that the bear had got loose ; 
they were all afraid to catch him ; he was in the kitchen, 
and the leg of mutton roasting for luncheon would be 
eaten up. Returning instantly, there appeared a doubt 
whether the bear was in the kitchen or the scullery ; the 
cook had shut herself up in one, and the bear in the other. 
Both were, however, soon released, and the bear again 
consigned to his outhouse. He soon escaped again, and 
walked up into the nursery, where the first-born baby was 



CHRIST CHURCH 



49 



sleeping. Father and mother ran upstairs and met Tig 
walking out of the room, leaving the child quietly sleeping. 

After this Tig was sent back to his master. Led by a 
chain, he trotted quietly along until in one of the fields a 
flock of sheep came in view. This temptation he could 
not withstand, he was off in an instant after them. The 
poor old shepherd, his dog and the sheep, all fled, with the 
bear after them, enjoying the fun. At last Tig was caught 
by his conductor, who picked him up and carried him the 
rest of the way to Islip. 

At Islip, news came one day that the bear had broken 
his chain and was in the grocer’s shop, devouring the 
sugar and sweetstuff, and terrifying the shop-woman out 
of her wits. She had retired to the back parlour, leaving 
him in possession of the shop, and had sent a messenger 
out at the back door for relief. After this the bear de- 
veloped such a proclivity for the sweetstuff shop, to the 
damage of the woman’s nerves and his master’s pocket, 
that in November 1847 he was sent to the Zoological 
Gardens, where he died some time after in an effort to cut 
his teeth. 

. The exploits of the eagle and of Jacko are recorded in 
the second volume of ‘ Curiosities of Natural History.’ 

The snakes had the advantage of frequent change of 
scene, as they visited all the rooms on the staircase and 
were indulged with excursions in their proprietor’s pockets, 
sometimes as far as London, where in Oxford Street one 
day Frank produced a very fine one, exhibiting him at full 
length to the astonishment of passengers. 

The chameleon used to stand upon an inverted wine- 
glass with his tail round the stem and assimilate flies. 

E 



50 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



This lie did with a concentrated gravity and entire want of 
speculation in his opaque and protruding eyes, which con- 
vulsed wine parties, especially when he concluded his per- 
formance by tumbling liead-foremost into the preserved 
ginger. 

One of the Christ Church tutors was wont to say , in a half- 
serious way, that he had once seen the devil. It was in 
this way : on returning to his College rooms one evening in 
the twilight, and proceeding to hang up his cap and gown, 
he had the sensation of not being alone in the room, of a 
shadow now here, now there, as he turned, but no sound. 
He waited — yes, there must be some one or something in the 
room. He called his scout to help him search ; when on 
the top of his window, clinging to the curtain in the dark, 
they saw the outline of Jacko, looking very uncanny indeed : 
a chase began, which ended by Jacko popping out of the 
window into Dr. Pusey’s fig-tree, and thus making off 
through the gardens. 

In June 1845 Frank Buckland left Oxford for Giessen, 
and remained there three months, studying chemistry with 
Pi’ofessor Liebig. 

The daily routine of Giessen life seems to have been : — 

‘ Breakfast when anyone chooses, as they do not meet 
at that meal. Dinner at 12.30 or 1 o’clock. Tea about 5 ; 
supper about 8. The students generally work all the 
morning and a good part of the afternoon, and in the even- 
ing go out for a walk to some neighbouring place, where 
they drink beer and eat thick milk. I went last night 
with some students and had some of this milk, which is 
milk from the cow put into jars, and let stand for two days, 
when it becomes quite thick ; it is then poured out into a 



CHRIST CHURCH 



51 



soup basin and eaten with sugar and spice ; I think it is 
very good.’ 

Sir Benjamin Brodie’s son, afterwards Professor of 
Chemistry at Oxford, was at that time also working in the 
laboratory at Giessen. 

The first few weeks were chiefly devoted to acquiring a 
sufficient knowledge of German to enable him to profit by 
the professor’s lectures. 

From Giessen he wrote home in June 1845 : — 

1 In the tower of the church is a house where a man 
lives whose duty it is to walk round a parapet all night to 
watch for fires ; he blows his horn frequently to show he is 
there, and he has the bells at his command to gfive alarm if 
necessary.’ 

‘ At the top of a chimney at the police station is a 
stork’s nest, and there are three or four young storks who 
live up there, and look down on the people with the greatest 
confidence : they are almost held sacred. The old storks 
are continually seen flying about for food. They don’t 
mind the smoke, and the sparrows have built their nests 
among the twigs of that of the storks, which when seen 
from the neighbouring Botanical Gardens looks like a round 
faggot. All the countrymen here (Bauers) are dressed in 
blue smock frocks, and some of the old fellows wear a kind 
of three-cornered fiat and knee-bi’eeches, shoes with buckles, 
and black stockings. The women are all dressed “ Buy-a- 
brooro. ” fashion, and wear tremendous bustles and short 
petticoats. They gather the hair from all sides of the head 
into one plait, which, if they are going to carry anything, 
they twist in a circle for a cushion, at other times they keep 
it in a kind of little box tied with strings ; many of these 



52 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



people have in addition high -heeled shoes, all broad round 
faces. There are not many horses here, but the better sort 
of peasants drive oxen in their carts, the others cows, which 
are more plentiful. These all draw by a rope fastened to 
their horns, and certainly do not look comfortable ; the 
cows are shod. I went out one day shooting in a forest ; we 
only killed two young rooks. I heard two golden orioles 
singing, but could not get near them ; I saw two or three 
ravens and a kite, jays, and magpies, and a roe. In the 
ponds about here are a great many frogs nearly green, but 
as large as the common English one. I have not been able 
to find any little green ones yet ; they are not very common, 
I believe. These big green ones make a great noise at 
night, and all round Giessen you hear them although some 
way off : they live in the water, not on the trees. They 
have a pouch by which they make this noise, which is quite 
peculiar. I think the stork helps to thin them considerably. 
I have told a little strawberry boy to catch me as many as 
he can, and also snakes ; I hope to import some frogs and 
red slugs into England. A man shot a polecat in the forest, 
and he has given me the body, which is now in the forest 
in a large ants’ nest.’ 

In a subsequent letter he writes : — 

‘ Somebody has taken away my polecat from the ants’ 
nest, where I put him in the forest. Tlie storks are quite 
well, and they are beginning to learn to fly, by jumping 
up into the air and openiu g their wings. There is a 
tame stork kept in the stable of an inn in the country, 
which I went to see ; an old woman drives him out in the 
fields to feed, and home in the evening ; he stalks along in 
a very dignified manner.’ 



CHRIST CHURCH 



53 



The description of a Giessen dinner is as follows : — 

‘ Sonp made with pearl-barley or macaroni, followed 
by boiled beef (Ochsenfleiscli) carved German fashion, i.e. 
the joint held down to the plate with a fork, and hunches, 
two or three inches thick, cut off, with perfect indifference 
to fat or lean, eaten with oily salad and vegetables smashed 
up together — these latter very good.’ 



1 July 17. 

‘ There was a large cattle market here the other day : 
an immense quantity of cows (all sold in pairs), some very 
bad horses, and some bulls. The fair consisted of three 
rows of stalls : in one were whips, &c., in another nothing 
but caps, and in another cloth, &c., and riband. Many of 
the people had come from a great distance. It was rather 
a ridiculous sight to see one old man with knee-breeches, 
shoes with buckles, and a cocked hat, driving a lot of pigs. 
I saw several of these fellows, in the middle of the day, 
lying fast asleep with their pigs, by the side of the road. 
The pigs have long noses, long legs, and a long mane of 
bristles all down their backs. They are kept famously in 
order by a dog, who pulls them by the ear if they do 
wrong. I saw a dog bring one out from under a cart, and 
through a lot of people, to the others, by the ear ; he let 
him go directly he had come to his brothers. There were 
two rows of about thirty country women, who had each her 
basket with some coarse stuff, like sheets, which I suppose 
they had made themselves : they sat there with their linen 
nearly all day, but did not seem to sell much. When the 
Bauers go home from work, they always sing ; last night I 
heard them in the forest in all directions, singing as they 



54 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



returned from the market. It seemed to lie a kind of 
chant to keep time with their steps. 

‘ The anatomist, who lives above me in my lodging, 
has got a dog, with a silver tube in his stomach, which 
is stopped up with a cork; the object is to get gastric 
juice fresh for the lecture; the dog seems very well but 
rather unhappy.’ 



‘July 29. 

c An accident occurred about a week ago at the farm 
which Liebig is building about two miles from Giessen. 
Two men were digging a well through a hill of sand — 
they had got down fifty-two feet, when all of a sudden 
down came the sand upon them. One of them saw it 
coming, and by dint of immense exertion scrambled up as 
it fell, and just got his head into the air ; the other poor 
fellow was buried. They were discovered in an hour, and 
an alarm was given ; this was at 8 o’clock. At 10 
o’clock I heard that the manganese mines had fallen in 
and that fifty men were killed. I rushed off as hard as I 
could go ; but they told me there that it was at Liebig’s 
Hill that the accident had taken place ; so I rushed back 
and got up to Liebig’s Hill about 1.30. There I found a 
number of miners with a windlass and buckets, working 
away as fast as possible (they had been working since 9 
that morning). Just as I came they found the poor man’s 
head, but he was quite dead. I then saw them bring him 
up in a basket from the bottom ; they put him on the 
grass and tried to revive him, but of course could not, as 
he had been under the sand from 8 till 2. I got close to 
him, to see how they treated him. He was carried off to 



CHRIST CHURCH 



55 



the cemetery, and rings put on his fingers in such a man- 
ner that the least movement would ring a bell. On the 
Wednesday following he was buried, and I heard all the 
miners were to attend. I went at 9 o’clock to the 
cemetery. It was quite dark. The miners formed a long 
procession and marched through the town ; many 
had torches, but those who had not, had their mining 
lamps ; a band of music preceded them, and altogether it 
was a very curious sight. They marched slowly to the 
grave, where a ring was formed by the miners, and the 
clergyman of the Protestant church advanced and gave a 
kind of sermon for a quarter of an hour ; the crackling of 
the torches and the man’s voice were all that could be 
heard. They then went home in procession without music. 
Liebig was very much affected by the accident : he paid the 
expenses of the funeral, and sent his son George to attend 
it.’ 

‘ August 3. 

‘ I understand much more than I did at first, and 
generally manage to get two or three facts out of the 
lectures, though of course these intricate combinations, 
explained in a language which I must construe in my 
mind before I can understand, are rather difficult. 

‘ When a young man begins here, he generally goes 
through the course of analysing a set of one hundred bot- 
tles, which takes him sometimes a year. These bottles 
are various compounds, which he must find out — viz. in 
the first ten he has only to find one metal, &c. ; in the 
second, two metals or substances, &c. ; till at last the high- 
est bottles contain six or seven substances, all of which 
he must find out. Liebig thought I had better not begin 



5G 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



these, as I had to learn German, and to stay only a short 
time here. However, I think I know more chemistry than 
when I came. About 3 o’clock Liebig comes into the 
laboratory, and he seems to be able to tell everybody, 
whatever they may be doing, what to expect, and how to 
proceed. 

( I have bought some of the frogs that make such a 
noise all about the ponds at Giessen. They are half green, 
their legs being brown as the English frogs ; I inflated 
one and squeezed the air towards his mouth, and out of 
the sides of his jaws sprang two bladders. I suppose these 
are used to make the curious loud noise for which they are 
remarkable. 

‘ There was a student’s funeral last Friday by torch- 
light ; there were nearly three hundred torches. 

‘ The students’ full dress seems to be, leather breeches 
and high boots, a velvet jacket and a sword. Some of 
them are very fine fellows. I have bought a book of their 
songs. When they returned from the funeral, they made 
a bonfire with their torches, and sang a Latin song, 
“ Gaudeamus igitur juvenes dum sumus,” to a very pecu- 
liar tune. They also sang a farewell over their comrade’s 
grave, and a sermon was preached by the professor of 
theology, who is quite a young man. 

‘ Returning from the University of Giessen in October 
1845, I brought with me,’ he wrote, 1 ‘about a dozen green 
tree-frogs, which I had caught in the woods near the town. 
The Germans call them Lanb-Frosch or leaf-frog; they 
are most difficult things to find, on account of their colour 
so much resembling the leaves on which they live. I have 
1 Curiosities of Natural History , first series, p. 15. 



CHRIST CIIURCII 



57 



frequently heard one singing in a small bush, and, though 
I have searched carefully, have not been able to find him ; 
the only way is to remain quite quiet till he again begins 
his soncr. After much ambush work, at length I collected 
a dozen frogs and put them in a bottle. I started at night 
on my homeward journey by the diligence, and I put the 
bottle containing the frogs into the pocket inside the 
diligence. My fellow-passengers were sleepy cld smoke- 
dried Germans. Very little conversation took place, and, 
after the first mile, every one settled himself to sleep, and 
soon all were snoring. I suddenly awoke with a start, 
and found all the sleepers had been roused at the same 
moment. On their sleepy faces were depicted fear and 
anger. What had woke us all up so suddenly ? The 
morning was just breaking, and my frogs, though in the 
dark pocket of the coach, had found it out, and, with one 
accord, all twelve of them had begun their morning song. 
As if at a given signal, they one and all of them began to 
croak as hard as ever they could. The noise their united 
concert made, seemed, in the closed compartment of the 
coach, quite deafening : well might the Germans look 
angry ; they wanted to throw the frogs, bottle and all, out 
of the window, but I gave the bottle a good shaking, and 
made the frogs keep quiet. The Germans all went to 
sleep again, but I was obliged to remain awake to shake 
the frogs when they began to croak. It was lucky that I 
did so, for they tried to begin their concert again two or 
three times. These frogs came safely to Oxford, and, the 
day after their arrival, a stupid housemaid took off the top 
of the bottle to see what was inside ; one of the frog's 
croaked at that instant, and so frightened her that she 



58 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



t 



dared not put the cover on again. They all got loose in 

the garden, where I believe the ducks ate them, for I 

0 ' 

never heard or saw them again.’ 

On November 12, 1845, Frank Buckland’s father 
was made Dean of Westminster, and was installed on 
December 12. In January 1846 Dr. Buckland removed 
from Christ Church to the Deanery, Westminster, at the 
same time taking the living of Islip, Oxon, which was then 
held with the Deanery, and became their country home. 

On returning to Giessen in July 1846, Frank writes : — 

‘ July 19. 

1 1 find Giessen just as I left it. The family seemed all 
glad to see me, and nothing could be kinder than the 
professor in every respect. He has arranged everything 
for me very comfortably. He said it would be better to 
have some regular lessons in chemistry, so that now I go 
every morning to his assistant for an hour. I will put 
down what my occupation here now is : 7.30-8.30, chem- 
istry; 9-10, German with Dr. Adrian ; 10-11, laboratory ; 
11-1, Liebig’s lecture; 1-2.30, dinner. After dinner I 
occupy myself with chemistry in the laboratory, or German, 
as the case may be, till about 6 or 7. If ever there was a 
place to work in, it is Giessen. The people never think 
of leaving off work till 6 or 7 ; whereas in Oxford the 
books are shut at the latest at 2 o’clock. 

‘ Liebig invited me to go with him last Friday to the 
Braunstein (black oxide of manganese) mines, about three 
miles from Giessen. The master of the place met us and 
took us over the mine. The metal is very plentiful ; it is in 
a bed dipping from east to west, as can be seen by the 



CHRIST CHURCH 



59 



depth of the different shafts. In one place they have made 
a deep square hole, on one side of which one can see a 
beautiful section. The braunstein lies in wavy lines, and 
above are clays of many beautiful colours, generally red 
with white streaks interposed. Altogether, it presents 
the most curious appearance. All these works belong to 
a lawyer, who found a bit of the stone and took it to 
Liebig, who advised him to buy the land, which he did, and 
has now made his fortune. It is sent in barrels down the 
Rhine and then by ship to Glasgow and London, to be used 
in bleaching linen. Professor Liebig has given me a 
beautiful specimen of this manganese covered with black 
crystals. 

‘I went on Saturday to the Saffenburgh Woods with 
a party. I slipped away to look at the duelling-place of 
the students. It is a little flat piece in the middle of the 
wood, and commands a view of all the approaches to it, so 
that the fighters cannot be surprised. 

‘ Last Wednesday the town was honoured by a visit 
from the son of the Duke of Hesse Darmstadt. This made 
a great bustle in the town ; all the professors went down 
to receive him, and in the evening the tradesmen got up a 
J ackelzier or torch-light procession, which had a very good 
effect. The Glee Club played under his windows, and 
while this was going on I went upon the top of the tower 
(where the people look out for fires), and got a capital view 
of the whole thing without being pushed about by the 
crowd, or having my clothes covered with the droppings of 
the torches. While up here, the old man who keeps 
watch all night told me that he had just before been very 
much alarmed by the whole tower shaking from side to 



60 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



side, so much that he thought it would fall, and some 
water in a bucket was thrown out on the floor. Well, I 
thought some part of the budding had probably given 
way ; but on going down, I found everyone with the word 
earthquake on the tip of their tongues. It seems probable 
that the whole of the lower part of Giessen, in which the 
church stands, Avas shaken considerably, but that the 
upper part was not at all affected. The keeper of the 
forest, about three miles off, tells me he observed the rooks 
flying about much frightened, and that the people in the 
neighbouring villages ran out of their rickety mud and 
Avood houses, Avhich shook so as to appear about to fall 
every moment. 

‘ I cannot bear the thought of the loss of “ Freiheit ” 
at Oxford, after that enjoyed by the students and myself 
Avith them here at Giessen ; besides I find the studies so 
much more agreeable here than there ; but I hope if I live 
to make my exam, before next long vacation.’ 

In September 1846, after a short tour in SAvitzerland, 
Frank Buckland returned to Oxford. He brought with him 
this time a jar full of the red slugs he wished to introduce 
into England ; they at least Avere noiseless and would not 
croak like frogs. In the opposite corner of the diligence 
placidly slumbered a traveller Avith ample bald head ; 
Frank also slept, but, waking at midnight, he saw Avith 
horror that two of his red slugs had escaped and Avere 
crawling over the traveller’s bald pate. What Avas to be 
done ? To remove them might waken the sleeper. Frank 
sat as it Avere on tenterhooks until the diligence stopped 
at the next stage, when firmly covering up the jar and what 
remained of the slugs, he slipped quietly out of the diligence, 



CHRIST CHURCH 



61 



resolved to proceed on his journey by another conveyance 
next morning rather, than face that man’s awakening. 

During his university course Frank constantly attended 
the lectures of his father, Dr. Buckland, to whose training 
he through life acknowledged himself indebted, and whose 
vivid and witty power of expression and illustration he 
seemed to inherit. 

In May 1848, he took his B.A. degree, and imme- 
diately afterwards entered St. George’s Hospital. 

Two extracts from his ‘Private Journal’ for 1846-7 
show that beneath the surface of character which bubbled 
over with fun, there flowed a deep stream of earnest 
purpose. 

‘ July 26, 1846. — My object in studying medicine (and 
may God prosper it !) is not to gain a name, money, and 
high practice, but to do good to my fellow-creatures and 
assist them in the hour of need.’ 

‘ August 9. — My object in life, to be a great high priest 
of nature, and a great benefactor of mankind.’ 



G2 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



CHAPTER IV. 
st. george’s, isi8— 1853. 

In May 1848 Frank Buckland left Oxford and commenced 
studying surgery at St. George’s Hospital, acting first as 
dresser to Mr. Tatum and Mr. Cutler, then surgeons to the 
hospital. In May 1851 he passed the College of Surgeons. 
In May 1852 he became house surgeon at St. George’s, 
which appointment he held until June 1853. 

His unfailing kindliness and love of fun soon made 
him a favourite both with the hospital staff and with the 
patients. One poor woman greatly troubled at her boy’s 
thumb being amputated, he soothed, it is said, by persuading 
her that Tommy’s thumb might grow again ; and when she 
called to tell him reproachfully that Tommy’s thumb had 
not yet grown, he could only exhort her to further patience. 

He used to say 1 that the cases which were brought into 
the accident ward grouped themselves into classes accord- 
ing to the hours of the day. The suicides came at an 
early hour of the morning ; the scaffold accidents next, 
since a scaffold, if it gave way at all, gave way early in 
the day ; the street accidents afterwards, and so on. 

One of his patients, he used to tell, an old woman, 
came to the hospital with a cough, which she declared 

1 Macmillan's Magazine, 1881, p. 301. 



ST. GEORGE’S. 



63 



nothing would alleviate except some sweet luscious mixture 
which another out-patient, a friend of hers, had received. 
The old woman was given a bottleful of the mixture, and 
returned again and again for more, though her cough got 
little better. At last his suspicions were aroused, and he 
desired that his patient should be watched. She was 
watched, and was found outside Chelsea Hospital selling 
the mixture in halfpenny tarts. 

Another reminiscence of St. George’s was connected 
with the practice of tattooing, which, as he used to tell, 
‘ is sometimes adopted by the fair sex of the present 
day. Ladies who are about to have the initials of their 
sweethearts permanently engraved on their arms should be 
careful to make up their minds not to change their sweet- 
hearts unless the same initials will suit. When house 
surgeon at St. George’s, a charming creature came to me 
in great distress. She said there was nothing the matter 
with her, but she was in great trouble because her young 
man had been faithless. He had persuaded her to allow his 
initials, with a true lovers’ knot, to be tattooed on her arm. 
She had quarrelled with him, and was now anxious to erase 
all traces of their attachment. The design on the arm 
was too big for any operation, and the girl, for aught I 
know, still continues to carry about a fine specimen of the 
art of tattooing.’ 

While at St. George’s he ‘ saw much society at the 

Deanery,’ which, under the genial hospitality of the Dean 

and Mrs. Buckland, had become a centre of scientific and 

intellectual societv in London. 

%> 

The following extracts from the Journal for 1849, 
which also contains a full detail of his hospital work, 



G4 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



show both the society he enjoyed, and also how his love 
for natural history maintained its hold upon him : — 

1 Neiv Year’s Bay. — I will see whether I can be wiser 
and better at the end of the year. 

‘ January 3. — Lectures began again at St. George’s, 
with Pitman and Tatum. Hewett began the muscles, 
Pollock assisting him. 

£ January 4. — Got the office of assisting Pollock in dis- 
secting. 

‘ January 12. — Gave Jacko chloroform : very suc- 
cessful. 

1 January 13. — Large microscope party: Dr. Carpenter, 
Mr. Bowerbank, Sir B. Brodie, Messrs. Spence, Pollock, 
Ogle, the Fittons, Hawes, Forbes, Lady Shelley, Miss 
Burdett Coutts, Dr. and Mrs. Playfair, and others. 

‘ January 16. — Man sent me a monkey from Zoological 
Gardens. 

£ February 19.— Went all over the top of the Abbey 
with Mr. Scott (Sir Gilbert Scott), the new architect. 

£ February 26. — W ent to a party at Miss Coutts’ : Duke 
of Wellington, Wheatstone, Lady Chantrey, Monckton 
Milnes, and many very great people there. 

1 March 2. — Saw the man who could sing both treble 
and bass at the same time : very curious but very sweet. 

£ March 5. — Went to Dr. Carpenter’s party; saw some 
objects under the microscope, echinus’s spines, horse’s hoof, 
eel’s scales, &c. Went with large party — Mr. and Mrs. 
Gladstone, Lady Waldegrave, and Mr. Harcourt, Mrs. 
Malcolm, and the Misses Johnson — to see the Nineveh 
sculptures (at the British Museum) ; very beautiful and 
interesting. 



ST. GEORGE’S 



65 



‘ March 9. — Party of Huxley, Blagden, Rolfs. Had 
the lump fish for dinner : very good, something like turtle. 

« March 10. — Rather seedy from the lump fish. 

‘ March 17. — Went with the Dean to British Museum 
to see Nineveh remains. Lord and Lady Russell there : 
introduced to them. Lord Northampton going round. Sir 
H. De la Beche also there.’ 

‘ March 19. — Dined with Lord Ellesmere at 18 Bel- 
grave Square : beautiful rooms. The Malcolms the only 
people there. Much talk with Miss Egerton and Lord 
Ellesmere about zoology. Altogether much pleased. Hope 
I gave satisfaction. Tried to do so. 

1 March 23. — Went with the Dean to Mr. Arbuthnot’s. 
Introduced to the Duke of Wellington by him. Talked 
about chloroform and the Nineveh monuments. Saw the 
Duke’s splendid plate presented by Austria and Belgium. 
Prince Albert just leaving as we arrived. Went to the 
new Geological Museum with the Harcourts, Lady Walde- 
grave, Baroness Rothschild, Lord Norreys, and several 
others. Saw some Californian gold. 

‘ March 25. — Huxley stayed in the hospital for me, 
while I dined at Sir John Pakington’s. Introduced to 
Sir Robert Peel, Lord Lincoln, and Lord Aberdeen. 

c April 1. — E. Forbes, Manby, and a French engineer 
came to lunch, also the Whewells, Mr., Mrs., and Miss 
Jones Loyd, Colquhoun also. Took the party round the 
Abbey. Got locked in : tolled the bell to get out again. 

1 April 5. — Eagle broke his leg : set it. 

‘ May 8. — Archbishop of Dublin (Whately) and Pro- 
fessor Owen came to breakfast. Landseer came afterwards 
to see the monkey and the eagle. 

F 



GG 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



‘ May 25. — Large luncheon party. Gave the eagle, 
the snake, and the fish chloroform : all succeeded. 

1 May 30. — Bartlett of the Zoological Gardens sent me 
a kangaroo and a gazelle to prepare and find cause of 
death.’ 

Among the frequent guests at the Deanery at this time 
were Deans Conybeare and Peacock, Sedgwick, De la Beche, 
Murchison, Lyell, Lord Enniskillen, and Sir Philip Eger- 
ton among geologists, who laid the foundation of the study 
of the history of the globe ; Sir Humphrey Davy and Fara- 
day, who analysed its composition and explored its subtler 
forces; Edward Forbes, Owen, Quekett, and Hooker, emi- 
nent in different branches of the study of animal and 
vegetable life ; Sir John Herschell, Airy, and Whewell 
among astronomers and mathematicians ; Brunei and 
Robert Stephenson among engineers ; Bunsen, Guizot, 
Liebig, and Agassiz among foreign savants ; Archbishop 
Whately, Ruskin, Rogers, Nassau Senior, Mrs. Somerville, 
Lady Shelley, and Mrs. Marcett represented literature ; 
Lord Brougham, Sir Robert Peel, Lord John Russell, Lord 
Monteagle, Lord Northampton, and others, politics ; Lady 
Franklin came with the Arctic explorers Scoresby, Richard- 
son, and Maclintock, and Inglefield, who took with him a 
detachment of white rats from the Deanery to the Polar 
regions. These and many more formed an intellectual and 
scientific society the brilliance of which few are left to 
remember. 

The menagerie at the Deanery was also extensive. As 
visitors entered the hall and passed thence to the Abbey, 
the stuffed forms of Billy the hytena and Tiglath Pileser 
the bear seemed prowling about the passage. Snakes were 



ST. GEORGE’S 



67 



kept in a glass case or in extemporaneous cages, whence 
they sometimes strayed, and were met casually on the 
stairs, to the alarm of those visitors whose department of 
science did not enable them readily to distinguish between 
the venomous and harmless species. 

The eagle had come to London from Islip, and now 
lived on a pole in the small garden of the Deanery, whence 
on the 10th of April, 1848, the day of Chartist riot, he 
escaped, and soared aloft over the Abbey, as is fully re- 
lated in 1 Curiosities of Natural History.’ 1 

Jacko had also migrated from Islip, and chattered from 
his pole in the middle of the kitchen, where he rejoiced 
in plentiful blackbeetles, and occasionally assisted the 
servants, in their absence, by scouring the candlesticks 
with black lead, and the kitchen table with cochineal, or, 
with mistaken zeal, filling the inside of the shoes with 
blacking. 2 

Another large ape, Jenny, caught when quite young on 
the rock of Gibraltar, joined the party in 1849, and 
used to lift up her hideous face and kiss her master with 
great profession of affection. Medicine Jenny would only 
take if stolen. Her master poured it out as if for himself, 
and pretended to sleep, when the monkey would stealthily 
approach and sip up what she imagined to be her master’s 
wine. 

Hedgehogs, tortoises, dogs, cats — especially a tailless 
Manx cat, with one blue and one green eye — rats, bats, 
hawks, owls, and an aviary of various birds, chameleons 
and other lizards, bowls of gold fish, and water newts, 
completed the collection. 

1 Second series, p. 102. 2 First series, p. 291. 



68 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



The rats, often fifty or sixty in number, black, brown, 
white, and piebald, were usually kept in the cellar. Se- 
lected white rats were brought up at evening parties for 
the amusement or torment of the visitors. Snakes were 
often brought out on these occasions. Frank would pro- 
duce them from his pocket, or gliding out of his sleeve. 

‘ Don’t be afraid,’ said he one evening to a young lady 
who sat down to play quadrilles ; ‘ they won’t hurt you : 
I’ve taken out their fangs. Now do be a good girl, and don’t 
make a fuss ; ’ and, after a little more persuasion, proceeded 
to wreathe one snake round her neck, and one round each 
arm, with which unwonted ornaments she continued to play 
the dances. His sisters were so often bedecked with 
similar reptilian necklaces and armlets, that they became 
used to the somewhat clammy, crawling sensation, which 
is a drawback to such ornaments. 

Chloroform was at this time a recent invention, and 
the Dean gave several luncheon parties, at which, with 
Frank’s assistance, the effects of the new anaesthetic were 
tried on various animals. ' 

The eagle was sent to sleep, and could be lifted up by 
his feet, like a dead bird ; or, when half asleep, was walked 
round the room by two pei'sons, holding him by his wings. 
One day the eagle was slowly recovering from his stupor, 
and walking unsteadily upon the floor, when Jacko was 
brought in to take his turn. He came in with a suspicious 
and melancholy expression, expecting that something was 
going to take place ; but when he saw the intoxicated 
condition of his old enemy the eagle, he jumped out of his 
master’s arms with a scream of delight, and seizing the 
eagle by the tail, paid off old scores by dragging him 



ST. GEOEGE’S 



69 



about the room backwards in a most ludicrous and un- 
dignified manner ; nor was Jacko secured again till lie had 
espied the bowl of gold fish and thrown them all about 
the room. Jacko chattered pitifully, however, when his 
turn came, and then he succumbed. The gold fish, when 
blotting paper soaked in chloroform was suspended over 
their bowl, turned on their backs, appearing lifeless until 
revived with fresh water ; the snakes also seemed to die, 
and come again to life. 

Frank’s training for the acclimatisation of animals for 
food, to which he afterwards devoted much energy, began 
early. 

At his father’s table at Christ Church the viands were 
varied. A horse belonging to his brother-in-law having 
been shot, Dr. Buckland had the tongue pickled and served 
up at a large luncheon party, and the guests enjoyed it 
much, until told what they had eaten. 

Alligator was a rare delicacy, as told in the first volume 
of ‘ Curiosities,’ but puppies were occasionally, and mice 
frequently eaten. So also at the Deanery, hedgehogs, 
tortoise, potted ostrich, and occasionally rats, frogs, and 
snails, were served up for the delectation of favoured 
guests. ‘ Party at the Deanery,’ one guest notes ; 1 tripe 
for dinner ; don’t like crocodile for breakfast.’ 

In the autumn of 1849 Frank Buckland went for two 
months to Paris, to study at the hospitals there in time of 
cholera. On July 31 he ‘ packed for Paris, put in skeletons 
to make,’ and started the following day, August 1, travelling 
via Winchester, Havre, and Rouen. 

From Paris he wrote home on August 6 : — 

‘ At Havre I saw a great crowd in the street ; I found 



70 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



they were looking at a star ; it was twelve o’clock in the 
day. There the star was plain enough, only it required 
good eyes to see it . 1 I acted as lioniser to an Englishman 
with his two sons. You may judge what a talented man 
he was from the observation he made to me, that there 
were a great many gambling houses in Havre ; I did not 
understand, and asked him why. He answered, because 
he saw written on many houses Chambres a louer. This 
he considered connected with cards. 

1 On Friday evening I went by rail to Rouen. I spent 
four hours in the museums of zoology and antiquities, and 
was charmed with them, and have learnt much from the 
old curator. In the street I saw an old woman selling 
fruit ; in her lap was a parrot, which gave the alarm when- 
ever anyone came to look at the fruit. The woman was 
asleep under an umbrella tied to the back of her chair. 
The parrot seemed to know its work, and required to be 
caressed when the old woman awoke. This would make a 
good picture. I arrived in Paris late Saturday night. 
On Sunday evening, at Versailles, I met two St. George’s 
men ; they put me in the way of everything at once, 
so I have lost no time ; I have been this morning round 
the wards of La Charite, and have begun a course 
of operations on the dead body, yet I have hardly been 
here twenty-four hours. Only think, we have a fresh 
subject every day, and may perform any operation we like. 

‘ August 21. 

‘ My medical studies take up so much of my attention 
that I have not seen anything except the Louvre and the 

1 Venus is often visible to the naked eye in the daytime. 



ST. GEORGE’S 



71 



Exposition ; for you know most tilings close at four, and I 
have not finished my operations till 2.30, when I don’t feel 
ready for sight-seeing. The French students are intelli- 
gent for the most part, but don’t work like Germans. 

* September 11. 

‘ I have been into all the curiosity shops here, but as 

yst have seen nothing good enough to buy for the 

Hunterian Museum. I have, however, made several notes 
« 

of little things not known in London. They have a 
peculiar art of making preparations here to show the 
arteries and muscles : this I pumped out of the demonstra- 
tor at the operating room, and, if I can get a chance, I shall 
buy a small one for a specimen. The operations are still 
going on. I have tied all the arteries several times, and 
performed all the amputations and resections of the bones, 
the most difficult of all. I feel great confidence now in 
my hands, a pleasant sensation, such as before I had not 
experienced. I frequently go round the wards of La 
Charite. I have been to Montmartre and found several 
good crystals there ; they do not work the quarries now, 
but the view from the windmills is magnificent. I have 
two more weeks to stay here. I intend to take a little 
holiday and see Grenelle and more museums. I shall try 
hard to get into the Catacombs, but this is difficult. One 
day I must go to Alport to see the hospital for animals, 
horses, dogs, &c., and another day to see the horse 
slaughter-house. 

‘ If I have time I shall go to Fontainebleau ; but I take 
Burckell’s advice, which he gave me about travelling, i.e. 
to follow up one subject in sight-seeing. Museums must 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



72 

be my line, and if I have time for other tilings, so much 
the better, but my own trade first.’ 

On his return to England his selection of souvenirs of 
Paris for himself and his friends, as shown by his Journal, 
is characteristic. 

1 September 21. — Bought a beautiful skull and some 
books for J. Ogle ; bought a little owl rare in England. 

‘ 22. — Bought another owl.’ 

The following are further extracts from the same 
Journal : — 

‘ October 8. — Set the owl’s leg again. 

‘ October 11. — Went to Terton to see Noel: introduced 
to his family. Saw Jenny the monkey, which they gave me. 

‘ October 1 2 . — Raining hard ; walked about in the park ; 
found a mole in a trap ; looked over Mrs. Noel’s collection ; 
some curious things — shells, minerals, mantis, &c. Took the 
monkey home ; put her in the stable ; went to hear Dr. 
Mantell’s lecture on Corals : amusing and instructive. 

‘ October 14. — Monkey got loose ; trouble to catch her 
again. 

1 October 15. — Put the monkey on her pole ; good place 
for her. 

1 October 17. — The Prince of Canino, Professor Owen, 
and Sir C. Trevelyan breakfasted with us. Round the 
Abbey ; very much amused. The Prince very like his uncle, 
sharp and intelligent. He put new names to my owls. 

1 October 24. — Pollock came to see Jenny ; killed a cat 
for the eagle; Jenny eats grass. 

1 October 26. — Jenny got loose; great trouble to catch 
her ; she ran all along the roofs of the houses in Dean Street, 
and at last ran home.’ 



ST. GEORGE’S 



73 



The history of the chase is narrated in ‘ Curiosities of 
Natural History.’ 1 

1 November 4. — The owl died. Saw Dr. Mantell’s bones 
of a new large Wealden lizard. 

‘ November 19. — Prince Albert came to the Abbey 
with Colonel Gordon and Colonel Grey. Saw the Royal 
Monuments, said they were the worst in the place ; I 
carried the keys, and he talked with me about the German 
students. 

1 December 8. — Went with Pollock to the Zoological 
Gardens : saw the new snake house ; saw the boa eat a 
rabbit ; heard the rattlesnake’s rattle going, saw some of 
Cleopatra’s asps, and some very young slow-worms. Owen 
to give a lecture next Tuesday upon the rhinoceros that 
has died. 

1 December 11. — Went to the Zoological to hear Owen’s 
paper on the rhinoceros ; talk with Mr. Mitchell about 
the rhinoceros. 

‘ December 12. — Sent my owl to the Zoological 
Gardens. 

1 December 17. — Dined with Lord Chief Baron Pollock 
and family ; very pleasant party. Saw the microscope, 
and learned about his wells, &c. He says he is an 
encyclopaedist, and he seems to know everything. 

‘ December 26. — Went to the Museum at Oxford; there 
a long time ; begin to appreciate the collection there.’ 

In 1850, a short trip to Guernsey with Professor 
Huxley, then his fellow-student at St. George’s, varied his 
professional studies. 

In 1851, the year of the Great Exhibition, Professor 

1 First series, p. 3] 1. 



74 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



Liebig and many other foreign savants visited the 
Deanery. 

In this year the pendulum experiment, first tried in 
France in 1845, to render visible the rotation of the earth, 
was exhibited at the Polytechnic. Dean Buckland, with 
Frank’s assistance, suspended a weight from the roof of the 
nave of Westminster Abbey, opposite to the entrance from 
the Deanery, to show the same experiment, which was an 
object of much scientific interest. The pendulum appears 
in the course of the day to traverse the circuit of a dial 
placed beneath it, the dial in fact rotating with the motion 
of the earth, the pendulum maintaining one constant 
direction. 

In the same year Frank Buckland made his first 
attempt at authorship, but an unsuccessful one ; the paper 
was upon the muscles of the arm, and had the approval of 
Professor Owen. The Diary records successive visits in 
June, July, and August to different publishers, none of 
whom would accept the article. 

In the following year, 1852, his first article was 
published, as thus described by his old friend Mr. White 
Cocper, the Queen’s oculist : — 

1 In the spring of 1852, when calling at the Deanery, 
Frank asked me to go downstairs and see his rats. I am 
not particularly partial to those animals ; but down we went 
to a sort of cloister, in which probably a dozen rats were 
encaged : these Frank took out one by one, and described 
in a most interesting way the habits and peculiarities ol 
each. Presently a large black rat bolted. ££ Look out ! he 
bites ! ” said Frank, but the black gentleman was speedily 
secured by a bag being thrown over him. 



ST. GEORGE’S 



75 



1 When I had seen all that was to be seen, I said, “ Frank, 
just you put down on paper all that you have told me 
about these rats, add what you please, let me have the 
manuscript, and I will see whether something cannot be 
made out of it.” Frank demurred, saying that he did 
not think he could write anything worth reading. 

‘ After some encouragement, he promised to comply with 
my request, and in due time the manuscript arrived ; 
having touched it up a little, I took it to Mr. Richard 
Bentley, with whom I was well acquainted, and said, “ Mr. 
Bentley, I am going to introduce a new contributor to your 
Miscellany ; one who will strike out quite an original line.” 
Mr. Bentley was not greatly impressed by what I said, but 
accepted the MS., which appeared as an article in the 
Miscellany of the following August ; and thus commenced 
the interesting series, subsequently collected and published 
as “ Curiosities of Natural History.” 

‘ Frank often said that the “ honorarium ” he received 
from Mr. Bentley for “ Rats” was the most delightful sur- 
prise he had ever had. The article in “Curiosities” has 
been considerably expanded beyond its original limits in 
Bentley.’ 

The success of the article on Rats led to the publication 
in the .following year of several articles in ‘ Bentley’s Mis- 
cellany ’ and ‘ Household Words.’ 

In 1853 he left St. George’s Hospital. These events 
are noticed in his Diary of this year, which also contains 
the first entry of casting, the beginning of that remarkable 
series of casts which forms the chief part of his museum 
at South Kensington. 

‘February 1, 1853.— Article on Cobra in “ Bentley.” 



76 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



‘ May 21. — Did much of the Monkey paper. 

‘ May 26. — Took my Monkey article to Bentley. 

‘ June 29. — Gave up the house surgeoncy at St. 
George’s. 

‘ July 14. — Wrote article about “ Old Bones.” 

‘ August 30. — Took ray article “Old Bones” to Dickens. 

‘ September 12. — Wrote out article on “Parasites” 
from 11 to 3. 

£ October 5. — Wrote out article on “ Curiosities at 
Oxford” for “ Household Words.” 

1 October 10. — Made cast of girl’s head, and of Ben 
Jonson’s head; also made mould of rat’s body. 

1 October 11. — Up to the Zoological Gardens, and gave 
the ant-eater some ants, which he would not touch. 

‘ October 12. — Up to the Gardens with six rats; gave 
them, two to eagle, one to mongoose, two to rattlesnakes, 
and one to cobra ; got poisoned afterwards in skinning the 
rat.’ 

The accident with cobra poison, which well-nigh proved 
fatal to him, he thus described : — 1 

‘ I once had .painful experience of the awful effects of 
snake’s poison. I have received a dose of the cobra’s 
poison into my system, luckily a minute dose, or I should 
not have survived it. The accident happened in a very 
curious way : I was poisoned by the snake, but not bitten 
by him ; I got the poison second-hand. Anxious to witness 
the effects of the poison of the cobra upon a rat, I took up 
a couple in a bag alive to a certain cobra ; I took one rat 
out of the bag and put him into the cage with the snake. 

1 Curiosities of Natural History, first series, p. 223. 



ST. GEORGE’S 



77 



The cobra was coiled up among the stones in the centre of 
the cage, apparently asleep. When he heard the noise of 
the rat falling into the cage, he just looked up and put out 
his tongue, hissing at the same time. The rat got into a 
corner and began washing himself, keeping one eye on the 
snake, whose appearance he evidently did not half like. 
Presently the rat ran across the snake’s body, and in an 
instant the latter assumed his fighting attitude. As the 
rat passed the snake he made a dart, but missing his aim, 
hit his nose a pretty hard blow against the side of the 
cage. This accident seemed to anger him, for he spread 
out his crest, and waved it to and fro in the beautiful 
manner peculiar to his kind. The rat became alarmed, 
and ran near him again. Again the cobra made a dart 
and bit him, but did not, I think, inject any poison into 
him, the rat being so very active ; at least no symptoms of 
poisoning were shown. The bite nevertheless aroused the 
ire of the rat, for he gathered himself up for a spring, and, 
measuring his distance, sprang right on to the neck of the 
cobra, who was waving about in front of him. This plucky 
rat, determined to die hard, gave the cobra two or three 
severe bites in the neck; the snake keeping his body 
erect all the time, and endeavouring to turn his head round 
to bite the rat, who was clinging on, like the old man in 
“ Sindbad the Sailor.” Soon, however, the cobra changed his 
tactics. Tired, possibly, with sustaining the weight of the 
rat, he lowered his head, and the rat finding himself again 
on terra firma, tried to run away ; not so, for the snake, 
collecting all his force, brought down his erected poison 
fangs, making his head felt by its weight in giving vigour 



78 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



to the blow, right on to the body of the rat. This poor beast 
now seemed to know that the fight was over, and that lie 
was conquered. He retired to a corner of the cage, and 
began panting violently, endeavouring at the same time 
to steady his failing strength with his feet. His eyes were 
Avidely dilated, and his mouth open as if gasping for breath. 
The cobra stood erect over him, hissing and putting out 
his tongue, as if conscious of victory. In about thx-ee minutes 
the rat fell quietly on his side and expired. The cobra 
then moved off and took no further notice of his defunct 
enemy. About ten minutes afterwards the rat was hooked 
out of the cage for me to examine. No external wound 
could I see anywhere, so I took out my knife and began 
taking the skin off the rat. I soon discovered two very 
minute punctures, like small needle holes, in the side of 
the rat where the fangs of the snake had entered. The 
parts between the skin and the flesh, and the flesh itself, 
appeared as though affected Avith mortification, even though 
the wound had not been inflicted above a quarter of an 
hour, if so much. 

1 Anxious to see if the skin itself was affected, I 
scraped away the parts on it with my finger-nail. Finding 
nothing but the punctures, I threw the rat away, and put 
the knife and skin in my pocket, and started to go away. 
I had not Avalked a hundred yards before, all of a sudden, 
I felt just as if somebody had come behind me and struck 
me a severe bloAV on the head and neck, and at the same 
time I experienced a most acute pain and sense of oppres- 
sion at the chest, as though a hot iron had been run in 
and a hundredAveight put on the top of it. I knew 
instantly, from what I had read, that I Avas poisoned. I 



ST. GEORGE’S 



79 



said as much to my friend, a most intelligent gentleman, 
who happened to be with me, and told him, if I fell, to 
give me brandy and eau-de-luce, words which he kept 
repeating in case he might forget them. At the same 
time I enjoined him to keep me going, and not on any 
account to allow me to lie down. I then forgot every- 
thing for several minutes, and my friend tells me I rolled 
about as if very faint and weak. He also informs me that 
the first thing I did was to fall against him, asking him 
if I looked seedy. He most wisely answered, “ No, you 
look very well.” I don’t think he thought so, for his own 
face was as white as a ghost ; I recollect this much. He 
tells me my face was of a greenish yellow colour. After 
walking, or rather staggering along, for some minutes, I 
gradually recovered my senses, and steered for the nearest 
chemist’s shop. Rushing in, I asked for eau-de-luce. Of 
course he had none, but my eye caught the words “ spiritus 
ammonise,” or hartshorn, on a bottle. I reached it down 
myself, and pouring a large quantity into a tumbler with a 
little water, both of which articles I found on a soda-water 
stand in the shop, drank it off, though it burnt my mouth 
and lips very much. Instantly I felt relief from the 
pain at the chest and head. The chemist stood aghast, 
and on my telling him what was the matter, recommended 
a warm bath. If I had then followed his advice, these 
words would never have been placed on record. After a 
second draught at the hartshorn bottle, I proceeded on my 
way, feeling very stupid and confused. 

‘ On arriving at my friend’s residence, close by, he 
kindly procured me a bottle of brandy, of which I drank 
four large wine-glasses one after the other, but did not 



80 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



feel tlie least tipsy after the operation. Feeling nearly 
well, I started on my way home, and then, for the first time, 
perceived a most acute pain under the nail of the left 
thumb ; this pain also ran up the arm. I set to work to 
suck the wound, and then found out how the poison had 
got into the system. About an hour before I examined 
the dead rat, I had been cleaning the nail with a penknife, 
and had slightly separated the nail from the skin beneath. 
Into this little crack the poison had got when I was 
scraping the rat’s skin to examine the wound. How viru- 
lent, therefore, must the poison of the cobra be ! It 
already had been circulated in the body of the rat, from 
which I had imbibed it second hand.’ 

‘ I saw him a day or two after the occurrence,’ Mr. 
White Cooper says ; 1 he looked ill, and had not recovered 
from the effects of the cobra poison. There is little doubt 
that his “pluck,” his presence of mind in telling his friend 
what to do, and the fortunate circumstance of his obtain- 
ing ammonia so quickly, saved his life.’ 

Other articles on the Ant-eater, on Fish, and on Foot- 
steps appeared this year. 

In December 1853, Frank Buckland gave his first 
lecture. Few have excelled him in the power of conveying at 
once information and amusement. He inherited from his 
father the faculty of investing a subject, dry in other hands 
(and how dry lectures often are), with a vivid and pictur- 
esque interest, and to this he added a variety of subject and 
a fund of droll yet apt illustration peculiarly his own. 
‘I can’t get on,’ he used to say, ‘until I make them 
laugh ; then we are all right.’ His drollery was irresist- 



ST. GEORGE’S 



81 



ible, yet was always informing ; while his vehement ear- 
nestness, and alternation of the serious with the humorous, 
never failed to arrest attention. 

The subject of his first lecture, which was several times 
repeated, was ‘The House we Live in.’ It was first 
delivered at a Working Men’s Coffee House and Institute, 
established by his mother, in Westminster, one of the 
earliest opened in London. After describing with fertile 
illustration this excellent house, well fitted up, with no 
taxes to pay, its pillars and various apartments, the doors 
and hinges ; the front door, the mouth, with the nose as a 
porter, always on duty except when he has a cold ; the 
windows, the furniture and covering, the pumping appa- 
ratus with arteries and veins as pipes ; the grand set of 
sewers ; and the telegraph from the mayor and council in 
the brain ; he thus concluded : — ‘ Many facts which I have 
mentioned you are doubtless acquainted with ; some may 
be new to you. If, by chance, you have learned anything 
as regards your own house, I would beg you to ponder 
over and consider it well. We are all too careless, much 
too careless, of our bodies. We know not, or, if we do 
know, we consider not, upon what a slight thread our 
lives depend. We are all careful of a delicately con- 
structed watch, or other fragile specimen of human handi- 
woi'k : how careless are we of our own much more deli- 
cately constructed bodies ; a slight cord snaps, a small 
artery gives way, our real selves, the immortal part of 
us, our soul, in an instant quits its mortal tenement, and 
what remains is but clay. Let this warning remain fixed 
in our minds, but at the same time let us look upon our 



G 



82 



LIFE OF FRANK EUCKLAND 



bodies, each upon his own body, and from his own body to 
those of inferior animals, as examples of the great Creator’s 
handiwork, that great Creator, so omnipotent, so wise, so 
benevolent to all here assembled, to all mankind, to all 
creation.’ 



83 



\ 



CHAPTER V. 

THE LIFE GUARDS, 1854 — 1858. 

On August 14, 1854, Prank Buckland was gazetted 
assistant surgeon to tlie Second Life Guards. 

In the same month he became a member of the 
Athenasum Club ; his election at the age of twenty-seven 
showing his popularity, and that his original power was 
already recognised. 

The late Mr. Broderip, a good naturalist, and old 
friend of Dean Buckland, wrote as follows to Mrs. Buckland, 
in September 1854 : — 

‘ I thought Frank’s admission into the Athenaeum of 
great consequence to him, and exerted myself accordingly 
and attended at the ballot, notwithstanding an inflamed 
eye, and that it would have been better for me to be in 
bed. Brodie was there doing his duty manfully, like a 
good man and true as he is. 

‘ Permit me, in reply to your observations, to remind 
you that, in order to get employment, your son must 
be known. It is something to have his name, education, 
and profession suspended for a week in the meeting-room 
of such a club as the Athemeum, with an overflow of some 
of the best names in London to answer for him. It is 
something more to be elected at a season when there has 
been more black-balling going on than I ever remember ; 

G 2 



84 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



nay, on the very night of his election, when one candidate 
was certainly so excluded, and another, I believe, with- 
drawn. I hope, and expect, that Frank is made of the 
stuff that is not fit for ledger work, and I should be very 
sorry to see him in partnership with anyone. Others as 
well as myself will be very much out, if he does not even- 
tually occupy a high position in his profession ; and it is 
much better that he should bide his time. I do not 
object to a surgeoncy in the Guards to begin with. 

‘ Your sincere friend, 

‘ W. F. Broderip.’ 

He retained his commission in the Guards until 1863, 
living by turns at the cavalry barracks at Knightsbridge 
and Albany Street in London, and at Windsor. 

Popular alike with officers and men, he was un- 
remittingly kind to the sick, yet strict in enforcing dis- 
cipline. 

His keen perception, which gave him sound diagnosis, 
and his taste for physiology and surgery, might have led 
to distinction, had he given himself up to the medical pro- 
fession ; but his passion for natural history absorbed him 
more and more, and his duties as assistant surgeon in the 
Life Guards could not fully develope his powers, or satisfy 
his aspirations ; he had not yet found his proper career, 
and while he did his work earnestly and well, he was 
conscious that his natural bent drew him aside from his 
present calling. 1 1 think,’ he wrote in 1857, ‘ I am getting 
too much into the natural history Hue. 1 must take in the 
medical papers and write for them also, for I shall get 
much knowledge from them.’ At this date natural history 



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85 



seemed to him an amusement, though earnestly studied ; 
it became his life’s work. 

While in the Guards he continued to write articles for 
‘ Bentley’s Miscellany,’ ‘ Household Words,’ the ‘ Leisure 
Hour,’ and other magazines. 

Materials of every variety, his mind, singularly alert, 
was always gathering, and these were stored in numerous 
note-books. 

‘ Passing thoughts are fleeting ; down with them in the 
note-book ; paper is cheap enough.’ 

He also, as his Journal of 1855 records, ‘cut out and 
put together many scraps for my newspaper-book, hoping 
they will turn out useful iu the article line.’ 

This habit, persevered in through life, of collecting all 
kinds of scraps of information, and carefully indexing 
them, aided by keen powers of observation and a re- 
tentive memory, enabled him, both in conversation and 
writing, to discuss and illustrate almost every subject with 
a readiness and resource always remarkable. 

In 1855, he was presented to the Queen, at the levee, 
by Lord Seaton, the colonel of the Second Life Guards. 

On June 7 of the same year, he went from Windsor 
to Oxford, to attend the funeral of Dean Gaisford. His 
account of it curiously shows how the pursuit of natural 
history was interwoven with each incident of his life. 

‘Went to the pond,’ his Journal notes, ‘and caught 
some fine lizards for the Zoological Gardens. In the 
evening went up to Oxford.’ 

The scene at Oxford he thus described : 1 — ‘ When in 
the month of June, 1855, the greatest Greek scholar of 

1 Curiosities of Natural History , second series, p. 235. 



86 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



his day, the Rev. Dr. Gaisford, Dean of Christ Church, was 
carried to his last resting-place within the walls of the 
ancient Cathedral over which he had presided so many 
years, the students of the “ house,” clad in white surplices, 
preceded the remains of their venerated Dean, as the pro- 
cession passed along the east side of the quadrangle from 
the Deanery to the Cathedral. Great Tom had, by tolling 
every minute, announced the decease, and now a small 
hand-bell, carried in front of the procession by the Dean’s 
verger and tolled every half-minute, announced that the 
last rites were about to take place. I was of course 
present at the funeral, and a most impressive sight it was. 

c The Cathedral clock struck four ; the usual merry peal 
of bells for evening prayers was silent. I strolled towards 
the Cathedral, and finding a side door open, walked in. The 
dull, harsh, and grating sound of the workmen filling up 
the grave struck heavily on my ears as it resounded through 
the body of the church. The mourners were all gone ; 
and alone at the head of the grave, watching vacantly the 
busy labourers, stood the white-headed old verger ; another 
hour, the giound would be all levelled, and the stones re- 
placed over the master he had served faithfully so many 
years. The verger informed me that the ground now 
opened had not been moved for 200 years, and that a Dean 
had not been buried within the precincts of the church 
for nearly one hundred years. Bearing these facts in mind, I 
poked about among the earth which had been thrown out 
of the grave. I found among the brickbats and rubbish a 
few broken portions of human bones, which had evidently 
been buried very many years ; but, fastened on to one of 
the brickbats, I discovered a little bone which I at once 



THE LIFE GUARDS 



87 



pronounced not to be human. It was a little round bone, 
about the size of a large shirt-stud, from the centre of which 
projected a longish tooth-like spine, the end of which still 
remained as sharp as a needle, and the enamel which 
covered it still resisted a scratch from a knife. The actual 
body of the bone was very light and brittle, and a simple test 
I applied showed that it had been underground very many 
years.’ 

The bone proved to be a spine from the back of a large 
tkornback, and gave rise to a meditation, pleasantly told, 
upon the monkish inhabitants of Christ Church in olden 
time; their fast days and fish suppers, and the kitchen 
midden or refuse heap of the monkish cook before the days 
of Henry VIII., on which this fish-bone had doubtless 
been thrown three centuries ago. 

In 1856 he began to write regularly for the ‘Field’ 
newspaper, and continued to do so until 1865. 

He continued occasionally his experiments in casting, 
as his Journal shows : — 

‘ June 18, 1855. — Made casts of rats, &c., in lead. 

‘ May 8, 1856. — Modelled the mare’s head in clay from 
drain.’ 

The mare had died, and was partly dissected in the 
stable-yard. 

‘ Where is the surgeon-major ? ’ enquired the colonel on 
the day of the dissection. 

‘ Inside the charger, your honour,’ promptly replied the 
sentry. 

On August 16, 1856, his father, Dean Buckland, died, 
and was buried at Islip. 

‘ I felt the blow very much, standing over the grave.’ 



88 



LIFE OF FEANK BUCKLAND 



The sale of the Dean’s library and private collection 
gave much occupation at the end of the year 1856 and dur- 
ing 1857. The geological collection had been given to the 
Oxford University and forms the chief part of the Geo- 
logical Museum there. 

In 1857 the first series of c Curiosities of Natural History/ 
collecting and enlarging articles already written, was pub- 
lished by Bentley. 

The originality and humour of the book, the odd yet 
varied stores of information, and droll fertility of illustration 
made it at once popular, and established his reputation as 
an author ; several successive editions rapidly followed each 
other. 

Other literary work was continued, facile in style, yet 
prepared with much pains, by field observation and museum 
study, as these extracts from his Diary show : — 

‘January 3, 1857. — Went to Madame Tussaud. 

‘ Account in the paper about my putting my head into 
the guillotine. 

‘January 14. — Wrote to the “Field” about malforma- 
tion in rabbit’s mouth. 

‘January 22. — Colonel Ogilvie complimented me upon 
my letter to the “ Field ” about the rabbit’s teeth, and said 
it was a pity that a man who could write like that should 
waste his time in the Life Guards. 

£ February 8. — Dined at Mess. Lord Yarborough and 
others also dined. Afterwards gave a sort of lecture about 
the jack’s head, coprolites, fish, &c. 

‘ February 10. — Went to Owen s lecture on the Ant- 
eater at the Zoological Gardens. Saw Owen, who fastened 
the article on Rats in the “ Quarterly ' on me. 



THE LIFE GUARDS 



89 



< February 16. — Went to see the whale at Whitechapel ; 
not a very large one ; only the skin, the bones all thrown 
away. Gave the man a lecture about it. Put him in the 
way of showing it at the Surrey Gardens. 

‘ February 17. — Wrote article on the Whale. 

{ February 19. — To College of Surgeons to see Quekett 
about the whale. Made notes at the College. 

‘ February 21. — Finished article on Whale and took it 
to “ Household Words.” 

‘ March 20-21. — Head much in Athenaeum about 
rats, &c. To College of Surgeons, Bush’s lecture. Took 
notes of rats at the College. Finished article on the 
Geological Auction for the “ Quarterly.” 

‘■April 12. — St. Leonards. Went out before breakfast 
at low tide ; found a few things ; plenty of doreys ; pecu- 
liar markings in the sand, very curious. After breakfast 
out with Quekett along the shore ; picked up several cuttle- 
fish and made interesting observations ; with Daubeny and 
him to call upon the Dean of Ely and upon Sir Woodbine 
Parish. Curious markings in sandstone examined. 

1 May 13. — Bought vivarium at Covent Garden for 11. ; 
fitted it up with lizards. 

‘ May 20. — Made skeleton of adder’s head all the morn- 
ing. Took the puff adder in a basket to the College of 
Surgeons; inoculated a bird and a guinea-pig with the 
poison from the dissected puff adder. All the morning 
made out the poison apparatus beautifully. 

‘ May 23. — Worked all the day at the boa constrictor, 
inflating his intestines. Mr. Stone ga^e me wourali poison 
(used by South American Indians to poison arrows shot 
from their blow-pipes). 



90 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



1 May 27. — Poisoned tlie thrush with wourali. 

‘ May 31. — Tried experiments with the wourali poison 
on two frogs ; they died wounded in the leg, but it re- 
quired several minutes to kill them. This poison placed 
on the skin did not affect them at all. 

‘ Jane 2. — To Weybridge to see Lady Easthope : found 
curious larvae of dragon-fly on the posts and bushes; 
caught one half out, another quite out. Numerous ants’ 
nests and eggs. Saw one viper, but could not catch him. 

i June 11. — To the College; took dragon-flies and cases 
there. 

‘ June 14. — Lunch with Lady Ogilvie. Frogs for lunch ; 
very good. 

i June 29. — Dined with Bentley. Met there Hans 
Christian Andersen, the Danish poet and novelist; also 
Charles Kean’s manager, and Dr. Doran. Pleasant party. 

‘ July 6. — To Cremorne Gardens to see an exhibition of 
magnetism. Young girl twelve years old magnetises her 
brothers ; great humbug ; examined the people when in 
magnetic state ; not uniformly stiff. The iron-lifting 
done entirely by knack. The people go determined to 
believe what they see. 

1 July 10. — To see the nondescript or hairy woman at 
Regent Street Gallery ; her face is covered with hair, also 
her arms and body. She is apparently a Mexican. 

1 July 1 1 . — To the College ; worked hard collecting 
material for article on the hairy woman. 

1 July 15. — Finished article on Julia Pastrana, the hairy 
woman. 

‘ July 22. — Spent two hours at the College of Surgeons 
working up article on Fish, &c. 



THE LIFE GUAEDS 



91 



< August 30. — Drove clown to Professor Owen, met 
there a Russian colonel of engineers, walked in the park, 
found lizards with their branchiae and a hare with ticks 
behind his neck. Professor Owen gave me a tarantula in 
its nest. 

c November 2. — To Ratcliff Highway. Saw Jamrachs 
tiger and little elephant and bears, and a tub full of 
tortoises. 

c November 3. — To Millwall to see the big ship Levia- 
than launched. She unfortunately stuck fast, one of the 
chains having broken, and the stern going down farther 
than the bows. 

‘ November 28. — To Portland. Walked up all over the 
quarries ; found a man to lionise us, got from him and the 
quarries a capital section. Saw several fossil trees, but few 
birds’-nests (fossil Zamia). Saw a hollow with os bones in 
it, all pretty perfect. 

‘ November 30. — Poor dear mother died at St. Leonards 
at 11 p.m. 

c December 12. — Made notes for poor man’s market. 

‘ December 15. — Called upon Quekett. Letter from 
“ Field ” wanting me to write weekly for them. 

1 December 17. — My birthday. Thirty-one years ago, at 
6 A.M., I came into the world at the old house in Christ- 
church Quadrangle. I am now about half-way across the 
stage of life, and thank God I am just beginning to feel 
my feet. But oh ! what I have lost since last birthday, 
the best friend a man can have in the world, his 
mother. 

‘ December 21. — Dissected mole with view to papers in 
the “ Field.” 



92 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



‘ December 2G. — Weighed roe of jack; 42,450 eggs in 
it. Wrote to the “ Field” about it.’ 

in February 1858 Frank Buckland gave his first 
lecture at the South Kensington Museum, on Horn, Hair, 
and Bristles, being one of a series of six lectures addressed 
to working men. 

‘ February 4, 1858. — Drove about collecting things for 
the lecture. Hope it will go off well, but it is hard work 
this mental and bodily labour. 

‘ February 5. — In dog-cart nearly all day collecting 
things. 

‘ February 6. — Drove to the Museum to get things out 
of the cases. 

c February 8. — My lecture at South Kensington 
Museum on Horn, Hair, and Bristles. Did not get the 
room till three, and then only got two carpenters to help 
me ; was tired, in consequence, before the lecture began. 
The room quite full, but when I came out to lecture I 
could see no one. Bather nervous at first, but they 
tell me I did well, and was amusing as well as instruc- 
tive. Of course I want practice. A heap of people 
there, who all said they were much pleased. Beceived 
many congratulations afterwards. Am thankful for 
success.’ 

The Diary of 1858 also mentions his breakfasting with 
Mr. (now Sir) Lyon Playfair to meet Dr. Livingstone ; being 
introduced to Lord Palmerston by Sir Boderick Murchison, 
at the Jermyn Street Museum, and lunching with George 
Stephenson. 

On May 6, 1858, Frank Buckland visited Paris for a 
week ; his notes differ widely from those of the ordinary 



THE LIFE GUARDS 



93 



tourist. { Saw a wonderful number of rats in the streets. 
8 th. Went to the Jardin des Plantes, and over the gal- 

leries of zoology; wonderful place. 9th . — Went to the 
races in the Bois de Boulogne ; saw the Emperor ; English- 
men cried hurrah ! Frenchmen could not make it out at 
all. 12 th . — Went to the fish-market to buy frogs. To 
the Jardin des Plantes ; saw there M. Milne Edwards, and 
heard a lecture. Bought lizards. 13 th . — Left Paris at 
8, home by 10.30. 14 th . — sorted edible frogs, green tree- 

frogs, and lizards, of which I brought home fourteen from 
Paris.’ 

The frogs and lizards he exhibited on his homeward 
journey, turning them loose in the railway carriage for the 
amusement of some friends who happened to be his 
fellow travellers, but to the doubtful enjoyment of the 
ladies of the party. 

The literary work of 1858 included eighteen papers on 
various subjects, a second and third edition of 1 Curiosities 
of Natural History,’ and a new edition of Dean Buckland’s 
‘ Bridgewater Treatise,’ in which he received valuable assist- 
ance from Professor Owen and from Professor Quekett, 
who had succeeded Professor Owen as curator of the 
Museum of the College of Surgeons. 

The Diary frequently mentions ‘ worked hard at Bridge- 
water.’ In result a very perfect edition was produced 
of this treatise, which forms the best literary memorial of 
the Dean, and which was framed on such broad lines as to 
be of permanent value, notwithstanding the time which 
has passed since it was written, and the rapid expansion 
of geological science. 



94 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



Professor Owen thus acknowledged the copy he 
received : — 



* British Museum, Nov. 8, 1858. 

‘ My dear Frank, — I found on my return here from 
the North the copy of the new edition of your dear 
father’s “ Bridgewater,” and I like the look of it ex- 
tremely. 

‘ It accords admirably with the good old original in 
type and form, and gives a most useful and easily learnt 
account of the main facts in geology and palaeontology. 

‘ I look upon it as the best elementary book that a 
country gentleman or azure lady could take up for those 
sciences. It very honourably associates your name with 
that of your father. 

‘ At a dinner at the White Lodge last Thursday the 
Prince of Wales told me he had been reading with much 
pleasure your book on Natural History. 

1 Always truly yours, 

‘ Richard Owen.’ 

In 1858, lectures on ‘ The House we Live in ’ were given 
at the Mechanics’ Institutes of Abingdon, Newbury, and 
Wantage, and at Windsor. At Abingdon the ‘lecture 
lasted from 8 to 10.30 ; found it very hard work ; managed 
to make the people laugh ; congratulated afterwards by 
many people, high and low.’ At Windsor ‘ there was a good 
audience ; gave a very lame lecture. In future I must not 
look at notes too much before lecturing. At Wantage did 
not look at all, and gave a better lecture.’ 



THE LIFE GUARDS 



95 



In November 1858, Frank Bnckland received an 1 offer 
from Mr. Brunei to go to Egypt with him, all expenses 
paid and a guinea a day besides from 4th December to 
March. Went up to London and had interview with him 
and Lady Hawes. Promised Brunei I would go with him, 
if possible. Colonels Martyn and Yyse both gave me leave 
to go to Egypt if I liked. 18 tli . — Letter from T. (surgeon 
to Second Life Guards) saying it would put him to great 
inconvenience if I went ; so I wrote and refused Brunei’s 
offer, feeling I was doing my duty towards my neighbour, 
and this was my motive.’ 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



96 



CHAPTER VI. 

THE LIFE GUARDS, 18-59 — 1862. 

The year 1859 was marked by the search for, and dis- 
covery in the vaults of St. Martin’s in the Fields of, the 
body of John Hunter, the father of modern physiology, and 
founder of the Hunterian Museum of Comparative Anatomy 
at the College of Surgeons. For him Frank Buckland 
entertained an enthusiastic admiration, calling him the 
greatest of Englishmen. 

A centenary dinner, in October 1856, had comme- 
morated the studentship of John Hunter at St. George’s 
Hospital. From that time Frank Buckland formed the 
resolution, which he now carried out, of doing honour to 
the remains of the great anatomist, interred sixty-six years 
before at St. Martin’s in the Fields. 

The search, after such lapse of time, was no light or 
agreeable task, nor free from risk to health, and in result 
he narrowly escaped a serious illness ; but he set to 
work with his usual determination, one of his maxims 
being, £ Must not shrink from doing a thing at first sight 
disagreeable, or nothing will ever be accomplished. 
Nothing like determination and perseverance.’ 

Accordingly, on January 26, as the Diary shows, 
he ‘ went to St. Martin’s Church, and found out the 
registry of John Hunter’s death. Down into Vault No. o to 



THE LIFE GUARDS 



97 



look for the coffin ; wrote letter to the ■ President of the 
College, Mr. Green, about it. 29th. — To St. Martin’s Church; 
again down into the catacombs with man, who recollected 
mo ving- the coffin in 1832. 

‘ February 1. — To St. Martin’s Church to look for John 
Hunter’s coffin. 

‘ February 7. — Began to look for John Hunter’s body 
at 1 p.m. ; moved coffins all day long ; turned out about 
thirty cuffins, many very curious ones among them. The 
stink awful ; rather faint towards the end of the business.’ 

So he continued searching in the vaults for fourteen 
days without success ; but on February 22 1 found the coffin 
of John Hunter. At work all the morning, and about three 
in the afternoon found it, the bottom coffin in the last tier 
but one ; gave a shriek of delight at finding it. It is in 
excellent condition, and the letters on the brass plate 
were as perfect as the day they were engraved. “ John 
Hunter, Esq., died October 16, 1793, aged 64.” So my 
perseverance is rewarded at last. Went with the news to 
Quekett and Mr. Arnott, who both of them came after 
lecture to look at the coffin. 23rd. — Down into the vaults 
with Mr. South and Mr. James, his assistant, in the after- 
noon ; then again with Professor Owen, who expressed 
himself much pleased. I wish I could have made a sketch 
of him, with his hand on the coffin, looking thoughtfully 
at it : it would have made an excellent subject. Much used 
up at night.’ 

A few days afterwards he c felt quite knocked down 
and prostrate ; thought I was going to have fever ; shivering 
pains in the back, headache, shortness of breath, &c. G. 
and R. came in and prescribed for me ; thought I was 

H 



98 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



going to have a serious attack.’ The attack passed off 
under treatment, and on March 28 he attended the solemn 
re-interment of the coffin in Westminster Abbey, and on 
the following day was invited to sit with the Council of the 
College of Surgeons, to consider the erection of a memorial 
to John Hunter. 1 Green made splendid speech ; President 
of College of Physicians next to him. Introduced to Mr. 
Lawrence Stanley; very polite. A great honour to be 
sitting at the Council at my age among people so much 
my seniors.’ 

A marble statue was afterwards placed in the College 
of Surgeons, and a scholarship for comparative anatomy 
founded. 

The search at St. Martin’s and the ceremony in the 
Abbey are fully described in ‘ Curiosities of Natural 
History.’ 1 The Leeds School of Medicine presented him 
with a silver medal as a mark of respect for his exertions in 
placing the body of John Hunter in Westminster Abbey. 

The following entries occur in the Journal for 1859 : — 

1 April 28. — Dined with the Dean of Westminster; 
after dinner, gave a sort of lecture to the people assembled 
on the gorilla, and on the Whitechapel whale. 

1 May 6. — To see the whale at Gravesend, a specimen 
of the rorqual ; Dr. Murie of the College with me. Took 
the measurements of him with great care, and some danger 
from the slippery carcass. 

£ The total length was 56 feet, supposed weight about 
45 tons. We were very anxious to get upon the body of 
the whale; and just as we were doing so we were stopped 
by the master’s exclamation, “ Don’t get on the top of 
1 Third series, vol. ii. p. 159. 



THE LIFE GUARDS 



99 



him ; you might bust him” However, we overcame his 
scruples, and with some difficulty climbed up. It was 
hazardous walking, as the skin had all become loose and 
very slippery from decomposition ; and there was not 
a little danger, as the tide was running down fast on all 
sides of this gigantic mass of flesh, which felt under the 
feet like a mountain of highly oiled india-rubber. 

‘ 9 th. — Down to village of Greys, near Tilbury, with Dr. 
Murie, to dissect the whale. Murie and I cut off various 
parts for dissection ; took home a bit of the flesh to eat, but 
found it too strong, even when boiled with charcoal. 

‘ July 9. — To British Museum to see Agassiz, with 
Owen, Lord Enniskillen, and Sir P. Egerton. M. Agassiz 
much pleased with the fossil fish in the Museum. 

MO th . — To Hampton Court; observed that Raphael 
has painted a skate, a gar-pike, a dog-fish, and a haddock 
in the picture of the Miraculous Draught of Fishes. 

‘ 25 th. — Made agreement with Mr. Crockford, of the 
“ Field,” to answer questions, &c., in the “ Field.” ’ 

In this year he lectured twice at Windsor, and also 
lectured at Burnham on men and animals. ‘ Audience 
principally working men, and their wives and babies. I 
lectured pretty well, but, as usual, had too many things to 
show.’ 

His literary work increased to sixty-three articles on 
multifarious subjects, which appeared this *y ear hi the 
‘ Field ’ and ‘ Leisure Hour.’ 

The Acclimatisation Society, though formed somewhat 
later, had its origin in this year. 

‘On January 21, 1859, I had the good fortune,’ he 
wrote, ‘ to be invited to a dinner, which will, I trust, here- 



100 



LIFE OF FLANK BUCKLANL) 



after form the date of an epoch in natural history ; I mean 
the now celebrated eland dinner, when, for the first time, 
the freshly killed haunch of this African antelope was 
placed on the table of the London Tavern. The savoury 
smell of the roasted beast seemed to have pervaded the 
naturalist world, for a goodly company were assembled, all 
eager for the experiment. At the head of the table sat 
Professor Owen himself, his scalpel turned into a carving 
knife, and his gustatory apparatus in full working order. 
It was, indeed, a zoological dinner to which each of the four 
points of the compass had sent its contribution. We had 
a large pike from the East ; American partridges shot but 
a few days ago in the dense woods of the Transatlantic 
West ; a wild goose, probably a young bean goose, from the 
North ; and an eland from the South. The assembled 
company ardent lovers of Nature and all her works : most 
of them distinguished in their individual departments. 
The gastronomic trial over, we next enjoyed an intellectual 
treat in hearing from the professor his satisfaction at 
having been present at a new epoch in natural history. 
He put forth the benefits which would accrue to us by 
naturalising animals from foreign parts, animals good for 
food as well as ornamental to the parks. 

c The glades of South Africa have been described by 
numerous travellers as reminding them forcibly of the 
scenery of many of our English parks, and here were the 
first-fruits of the experiments as to whether the indigenous 
animals of these distant climes would do well in our own 
latitudes. The expei’iment was entirely successful, and 
he hoped would lead to more, and that we might one day 
see troops of elands gracefully galloping over our green 



THE LIFE GUARDS 



101 



sward, and herds of koodoos and other representatives 
of the antelope family which are so numerous in Africa, 
enjoying their existence in English parks, and added to the 
list of food good for the inhabitants of not only England, 
but Europe in general. 

‘ The vice-chairman, Mr. Mitchell, (Secretary of the 
Zoological Society,) then instanced the case of the Indian 
pheasants, already in course of naturalisation at several 
places in England, and expressed his conviction that the 
American partridges we had just partaken of, as well as 
the European gelinotte, would thrive well in our woods 
and copses, particularly in Kent, and that there could not 
be any great difficulty in getting them over from America 
for this purpose. Elands, since the present experiment 
had become publicly known, had risen in the market, the 
demand much exceeding the supply, and there were 
numerous applications for them which he was sorry to 
say the Zoological Society could not meet. There were, 
however, plenty more elands in South Africa, to be 
had for the trouble of importing them ; a fresh supply was 
much wanted, and he trusted that this subject might 
be taken up by those who had convenient pasture-ground 
for them in England, and would be patriotic enough to 
further the important cause of the acclimatisation of useful 
exotic animals in English parks and homesteads.’ 

Professor Owen, a few days afterwards, wrote a letter 
to the ‘Times,’ speaking highly of eland as a meat and 
advocating the cause of acclimatisation. His observations, 
both spoken and printed, made a deep impression on Frank 
Buckland ; ‘ for they showed us how science, even in her 
gravest moods, tends to utility, and that there was a 



102 



LIFE OF FRAKK BUCKLAND 



grand uncultivated field open to those who would take up 
the subject in earnest.’ 

' In January, I860, a remarkable article, in the ‘Edin- 
burgh Review,’ upon the acclimatisation of animals, at- 
tributed to Mr. Mitchell, again drew attention to the 
subject, and in result Frank Buckland determined to form 
in England an Acclimatisation Society. 

In Paris, a Societe d’Acclimatation had been formed, 
in 1854, on an international basis, under the presidency 
of M. Isidore Geoffroy St. Hilaire, and now numbered 
more than two thousand members, including in its roll 
thirty-five royal names, from the Emperor of the French 
to the King of Siam, from the Sovereign Pontiff to the 
Emperor of Brazil ; and it possessed a garden thirty-three 
acres in extent, and every convenience and appliance for 
carrying out its principles. 

The French society was in active operation, having 
local societies affiliated to it, and publishing monthly 
reports, and had offered, in 1857, a series of prizes for the in- 
troduction into France, and her colonies, of various beasts, 
birds, fish, insects, and plants. 

W e are apt to forget how large a portion of the animal 
and vegetable food of this country has been introduced from 
abroad ; the same process is always going on, slowly in this 
country, already well stocked, rapidly in our colonies, of 
which the transformation of Australia, in a few years, from 
barrenness to fruitfulness, both in animal and vegetable 
food products, is the most striking example. In England 
it is said that but four additions have been made to 
our domesticated animals since the Christian era ; viz. in 
1524 the turkey, in 1650 the musk-duck, in 1725 the 



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103 



gold-pheasant, and in 1740 the silver-pheasant; but ‘the 
turkey alone,’ exclaimed Frank Buckland, ‘ is an answer to 
the question of the sceptic, who believes we have the best 
of everything ; and, if he be a gastronomer, I appeal to 
that love of good feeding, which we all have more or less, 
and ask him, if it were not for the acclimatisation, which 
took place in 1524, what would he have for dinner at 
Christmas to face his roast beef ? ’ 

Frank Buckland aimed to make science practical. To 
find out a new kind of food, or to multiply an old one, 
was to do practical good to a hungry people ; and to this 
end he henceforward devoted his chief energies. 

The new society was formed with this object ; he 
undertook the duties of organising secretary. The first 
meeting was successfully held on June 26, 1860. 

In 1860, the second series of £ Curiosities of Natural 
History’ was published, and a fifth edition of the first 
series; thirty-three articles on various subjects also ap- 
peared. 

He devoted increased attention to the Zoological Gar- 
dens, where he became a voluntary consulting surgeon, 
doctoring the sick, and assisting in the dissection of the 
deceased animals. 

Ever increasing his own stores of knowledge, he attended 
the lectures of Professor Owen on fossil mammalia, of Dr . 
Lankester on the uses of animals to man, and Professor 
Quekett’s biological lectures. 

He continued to take part in the meetings of the 
Committee of the Council of the College of Surgeons for 
the memorial to John Hunter, and worked up the Ac- 
climatisation Society. 



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LIFE OF FRANK EUCKLAND 



In August lie went to Scotland, writing in the train 
the index to first series of ‘ Curiosities.’ On the 21st he 
had his ‘ first day’s salmon fishing.’ Always an ardent 
fisherman so far as leisure allowed, he used to say that 
the happiest moment of his life was when he caught his 
first salmon. 

He saw Carlisle, Glasgow, Perth, Edinburgh, Dunbar 
and Berwick, taking notes wherever he went for future 
use. 

‘ At Chillingham Castle, the Earl of Tankerville took 
me out on a pony, to see the wild cattle in the park : long 
conversation with him.’ 

On November 27 he read a paper before the Society of 
Arts on the acclimatising of animals, Professor Owen being 
in the chair. After enforcing the example of the French 
Society, whose learned president had stated ‘that the world 
furnished a list of no less than 140,000 animals, out of 
which vast catalogue we limit our attention to 43, he 
proceeded to examine into this catalogue of animal life, 
and described, not at random, but guided by the experience 
of the Zoological Society of London, those among the 
numerous individuals composing it, which were most likely 
to be of future use to us, enumerating those animals and birds 
which from actual experience have been proved to thrive 
in this country and also to multiply their species, there 
being no reason why, having once bred, they should not 
breed and multiply again. 

The endeavour by acclimatisation to vary and increase 
our supplies of food, drew his practical mind to consider 
the still greater value of our native sources of food. What- 
ever mia’ht be the result of the endeavour to introduce 



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105 



new animals useful for food, the preservation and multi- 
plication of the native fish supply of the country was, he 
clearly saw, an object of national importance, and he began 
in 1861 to devote his energies to it. 

At this date, although in France and Germany the 
artificial culture of river and sea fisheries had been for 
some time practised, and in China for generations, in 
England it was little known. Most people are now familiar 
with the apparatus by which the natural conditions of 
fish-hatching are imitated. A box nearly filled with fine 
gravel represents the bed of the stream in which the eggs 
are deposited, the gravel being first boiled, to destroy 
creatures which might also come to life and prey on the 
ova. Running water, as in the natural stream, is supplied 
from a cistern placed above the box, from which, through 
a half-turned cock, a small stream of water constantly 
dribbles. To enlarge the model river bed, a series of 
boxes are placed like steps, one below the other, the 
tiny stream of water trickling in turn from one to the 
other ; running water being essential to keep the eggs 
alive, yet must the stream be so gentle as not to disturb 
them on their gravelly bed. 

In the eggs, which resemble small whitish semi- opaque 
beads, presently two black specks appear, which develop 
into eyes, and in due time the egg bursts and the embryo 
fish uncurls, half an inch to one inch in length, with large 
eyes, closed mouth, and a transparent pouch of nutriment 
hanging underneath the throat, to be gradually absorbed 
in about six or eight weeks, when the mouth opens, and 
feeding by that organ begins. 

Frank Buckland used to liken the absorption of this 



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LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



lcmg pouch to the process he had observed in human 
babies, which at first appear with an appendage of long 
clothes, gradually absorbed as they are short-coated, when 
they open their mouths and begin to eat and drink like 
their elders. 

On May 1, 1861, Frank Buckland first collected perch 
spawn, at Surley Hall, Eton, for artificial hatching, which 
he commenced in his own house, and threw himself into 
his new pursuit with an enthusiasm always contagious. 
In a few days there were ‘lots of men in my rooms looking 
at fish-hatching.’ He was immediately elected upon the 
committee of the Thames Angling Preservation Society, 
whose chairman, the late Mr. Stephen Ponder, entered 
heartily into his schemes for fish-culture. He was also 
placed on the council of the British Fisheries Preservation 
Society. On May 13 he took up the live perch, just 
hatched, to the meeting of the former society, and ‘created 
a great sensation.’ On May 15 he ‘collected much perch 
spawn.’ Fish-hatching boxes were soon afterwards con- 
structed at Mr. Stephen Ponder’s residence at Hampton, 
in which the perch spawn was placed and carefully watched. 
Success was only obtained by conquering failure. At first 
the enemies of the ova were hatched out with them and 
devoured them. The gravel was boiled to destroy eggs 
and larvae of destructive insects, and with increasing 
experience the fish were safely reared. 

On Christmas-day the first salmon ova were placed in 
the boxes at Hampton. 

‘ December 24. — Up to London in afternoon to fetch 
some salmon spawn sent by Mr. Garnett of Clitheroe : 
brought it home and placed it under the tap after dinner. 



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25 til. Found that the tap over the salmon ova had run dry. 
Went off immediately to Hampton and back ; fearfully cold, 
but never mind that".’ 

He continued this year to attend Professor Owen’s 
lectures, wrote numerous articles, and lectured at Windsor, 
at Witney, and at Oxford. His lecture at Oxford was thus 
described by one of the leading daily journals : 

‘ One of the most interesting, amusing, and instructive 
lectures that have ever been given in Oxford was delivered 
at the Town Hall by Mr. Frank Buckland, M.A. Ch. Ch. and 
son of the late Dean Buckland. Apart from the interest 
which, as might be expected, is attached to one bearing a 
name so cherished here, the celebrity which the son has 
attained as the writer of some of the most fascinating works 
on natural history had the effect of gathering round him 
a large and attentive audience. The subject was the 
Curiosities of Natural History, and when the lecturer pre- 
sented himself, he was greeted with much applause, which 
was renewed when he stated that for all the pleasure he 
had derived from the study of the works of nature, and had 
been able to impart to others, he was indebted to his late 
father, who had fostered and encouraged the taste which he 
had always had in that direction. 

1 The lecture itself embraced a large number of interest- 
ing and curious facts relating to man civilised and savage, 
elephants, mammoths, lions, tigers, hymnas, rats, snakes, 
spiders, caterpillars, birds, fish, oysters, pearls ; all of which 
were illustrated and made more palpable by skeletons, 
skulls, relics, and specimens, obtained from various quar- 
ters, and some of which were of a most costly nature. For 
two hours did the lecturer dilate upon these objects, with 



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LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



a combination of instruction, wit, and humour which at the 
same time interested, enlightened, and amused the audience, 
who testified their delight by frequent bursts of applause. 
The warmth of feeling which Mr. Buckland threw into his 
favourite study, the colloquial and pleasant manner in which 
he narrated facts and incidents, and his readiness to allow 
his specimens to be inspected and examined by the audience, 
gave the lecture additional interest and amusement, and re- 
called very forcibly to the recollection of many present the 
late Dr. Buckland, who was endowed with the same powers 
and generous characteristics.’ 

Some notes have been preserved of the Windsor lecture, 
of which Teeth formed the chief subject ; but these are 
but a shadow of the vivacity of the lecture in which every 
subject touched on was made visible to the eye by illus- 
trative specimens. 

‘ My object,’ he said, 1 is to induce thought, comparison, 
inquiry ; using plain language and avoiding hard names, 
which ofoen hinder instead of helping the acquirement of 
useful knowledge. A scientific meeting is not necessary 
to scientific or natural research. The book of nature is 
open to all. 

‘ The stone quarry and the gravel pit, as well as the 
ruined castle or ancient mound, are fraught with lessons of 
history. Natural history is easy to learn ; did we but keep 
our eyes open daily and hourly, from all around we might 
gain instruction and amusement. 

1 The first thing we must look at in an animal to ascer- 
tain its order, is its tooth. From the nature of the teeth the 
geologist ascertains the complete structure of the animal . 
These may serve to group together the objects of the lecture. 



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I 

1 Beginning naturally with our own species : People do 
not think much of their teeth until they get the toothache, 
and then begin to wish they had taken more care of them. 
The front teeth are for biting. The back teeth for grinding. 
Eating- hard substances renders the teeth smooth. In the 
skulls of Danes and Saxons the teeth are exceedingly 
smooth from this cause. So in the case of a skull of a 
Cafire who harassed the rear of our army, and was just on 
the point of shooting a friend of mine, when he shot the 
Caffre instead, and kindly presented me with his skull.’ 
Next a tattooed skull of a New Zealander was exhibited. 
{ Soon after the discovery of these tribes by Captain Cook 
there was such a traffic in these skulls among the sailors 
that the natives used to kill each other for the purpose of 
selling the skull of the victim, for which from 81. to 91. was 
sometimes given. This traffic is now happily abolished and 
the skull is a rare specimen. Notice how beautiful is the 
tattooing ; the artist seems to have imitated the graining of 
the root of a tree ; as in one of their paddles they seem to 
have taken the section of a palm-tree for the pattern. The 
doctrine of following nature’s pattern, which these savages 
seem ever to have considered, Mr. Ruskin is now begin- 
ning to teach us. Passing from them to the most intelli- 
gent of beasts, the huge elephant’s tooth is unlike a man’s 
tooth and made for grinding, not biting. Elephants do not 
eat beef-steaks and mutton-chops, but with their won- 
derful trunks pull down branches and tear up trees by 
their roots, and crush whatever they take within their 
mouths between the teeth, which are like an immense 
grinding mill. There are two kinds of elephant, the African 
and Asiatic, easily distinguishable by their teeth, which are 



110 



LIFE OF FRANK EUCKLAND 



divided by sectional lines of hard enamel, which in the 
Asiatic run straight across, and in the African diagonally 
in diamond shapes. If I tell you that elephants such as 
these once lived in the neighbourhood of Windsor, and 
came down to the river side where the bridge now is, you 
may be astonished ; yet such is the fact, else how came this 
elephant’s tooth in the quarry at Burnham, where it was dug 
out ? In tertiary times before the time of Man, these animals 
did exist here, and their remains are constantly found. 
There was also the fossil ox, and any person interested who 
will go with me to the quarrymen at Maidenhead, and 
stand a glass of ale, may get plenty of bones of fossil oxen, 
which are there in abundance, as also those of the hippo- 
potamus, which lived in those days on the banks of the 
Thames as plentifully as water-rats now. The pigmy 
elephant also ' was there, for its teeth are found. There 
is now a great deal said about Man being contemporary 
with the mammoth elephant, flint arrow-heads ha ving been 
found with the bones of these animals. The question is, 
did Man live at the same time ? a subject of moment, 
which anyone who finds these flint arrow-heads, and care- 
fully notes their position and accompaniments, may be able 
to illustrate.’ 

Passing to the monkey tribe, he described the gorilla ; 
then showed the skull of a tiger, which had had a man in 
its mouth, and carried the token of retribution in a 
bullet-hole. Of the lion, he said, ‘the most dangerous 
thing is its fearfully crushing paw. When a man was 
lately killed by a lion, at Astley’s, I went soon after to 
see the lion, and found that the man had very foolishly 
run away instead of facing the lion ; the lion just patted 



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him on the back with his paw, and he died in an 
instant. The tongue of the lion is rough, like that of a 
cat, in order that it may scrape off the flesh from the 
animals it kills ; then afterwards come the hyaenas and 
crunch the bones. Anyone visiting the Zoological Gardens 
would be attracted by the roar of the lion. An examina- 
tion of the larynx shows it to be a most perfect musical 
instrument, resembling in its anatomy a trombone. There 
is behind the larynx a vibrating machine, which produces 
the sound by which all other animals are awed: a roar, 
a spring, and a pat with his powerful paw, and they are 
dead. The lion, like the cat, has a beautiful bunch of 
whiskers, which it distends whenever it takes a spring, and 
the moment the end of the whisker touches the least ob- 
struction, a telegraphic message goes to the brain, “ Keep to 
the right, or keep to the left,” and the body follows. Our 
whiskers are not so useful, only ornamental.’ 

He then described the poisonous teeth of the rattlesnake, 
and of the viper, the only poisonous snake in England. ‘ It 
is said that the viper’s young take up their abode in the 
stomach of the mother, running down her throat. This is 
strange, if true ; but scarcely more so than the maternal kan- 
garoo putting her young ones into a pocket in her stomach, 
which may be seen at the Zoological Gardens.’ He then 
showed the large teeth of the voracious spermaceti whale, 
whose oil and ambergris are articles of commerce. He had 
always thought the ambergris was a secretion from the 
whale ; and if it were, as the whale devoured the cuttle- 
fish, there should be the remains of that fish in the secre- 
tion. Seeing a piece of ambergris in the shop of Messrs. 
Piesse and Lubin, the perfumers, he examined it, and 



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LIFE OF FRANK EUCKLAND 



found in it the beaks of cuttle-fish, proving his belief correct 
Ambergris, though rather disagreeable in itself, is used in 
the manufacture of scent, and if added to eau de cologne 
or lavender water, adds twenty-five per cent, to its value. 
Teeth of fish were then shown and described: the shark, 
the skate, the jack ; and then the tooth -like tongues of 
shell-fish, with which the whelk, aud other like shell-fish, 
pierce the thick shell of the oyster : to combat this attack, 
the pearl oyster fortifies the breach in its shell with a 
barrier of pearl, and thus the pearl is formed so valuable to 
jewellers and ladies. ‘ Thus, then,’ he concluded, ‘ I have 
endeavoured to point out to you some of the curiosities 
of natural history — I should rather say of the wonders of 
nature ; but I have not made mention of a huge volume of 
facts which might be opened with advantage : I mean the 
uses of animals in relation to the industry of man, a volume 
full of most interesting results and experiences, not, 
however, by any means yet exhausted. There are deduc- 
tions most interesting and most important to be made 
from the study of natural history. When we consider the 
ordained position of Man, as lord of the creation and of 
created things, it is indeed surprising how few there are 
who open their eyes to take cognisance of the wonders 
, which surround them. The earth is full of God’s handi- 
work. Whether we examine the leaf of the hedgerow that 
falls at our feet, or humble worm which feeds upon that 
leaf ; whether we contemplate the giant elephant or the 
lordly lion roaming free and unfettered in the primeval 
forests of tropical climates ; whether we consider the soft 
spring wind, as it brings health, and life, and growth to 
the nascent green carpet of the earth, or tremble at the 



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Divine artillery of the awful thunder, or whether we 
examine and reflect upon the admirable construction of the 
frame of Man, with all its beautiful contrivances, the 
culminating point, the very perfection of the animal king- 
dom ; shall we not be struck with the thought that these 
things were not made in vain, that there must be an 
Omniscient Mind, which in infinite power and wisdom 
cares for the well-being of all His creatures, small and 
great ? Shall we not have weapons of the most irresistible 
kind, wherewith to combat infidelity and the theories of 
those men wdio imagine they can, with their limited facul- 
ties, by notions of chance or mere properties of matter, 
explain and account for the actions of the great Creator ? 
Shall we not at once become sensible of that privilege, 
which we are so apt to use without due thankfulness to its 
Giver, who has allowed us, with our imperfect senses, 
to contemplate and consider His perfect and beautiful 
works ? ’ 

‘We know not,’ said a critic of the lecture, ‘which 
most to admire, the felicity of diction which made the most 
abstruse subject familiar to the junior portion of the 
audience, the intellectual excitability which awakened the 
attention of the more profound and learned members of 
the Society, the exquisite specimens which were ready 
to his hands to exemplify his scientific deductions, or 
the rich vein of humour and interesting anecdote with 
which the production of each specimen was so happily 
illustrated.’ 

The story of vipers swallowing their young, alluded to 
in the lecture, was nsver credited by Frank Buckland, 

I 



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LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



though a subject of frequent discussion. Numerous vipers 
were kept for observation until their constant escape (due 
to the uncontrollable curiosity of John the page) led to their 
final transfer to the Zoological Gardens. 

Some of his experiences with snakes he thus nar- 
rated : — 

‘ When medical officer to the Second Life Guards, I tried 
various experiments with vipers. I was anxious to obtain 
a living specimen of a then new British snake, the Coronella 
Icevis, so I engaged a professional viper-catcher, one White, 
to collect for me. I sent him down to the New Forest 
with orders to catch every living snake he saw — the com- 
mon ringed snake ( Coluber ncitrix ) excepted. In four days 
he returned with a bag, and told me he had had capital 
sport. We went into an empty barrack room, and stand- 
ing on a chair I unloosed the top of White’s bag, and shot 
the contents on to the floor : the slippery reptiles came 
tumbling out, first singly and then in pairs, and at last 
the main body, coiled and twisted together into a solid 
mass, like Medusa’s chignon ; and in half a minute I had 
on the floor of the room fifteen vipers and two coronellas, 
crawling about in all directions, and looking as savage as 
vipers can look. The first thing I did, was to pick up the 
coronellas and put them carefully away ; and then we had 
to catch all the vipers again. White gave me a lesson in 
the noble art of viper-catching, which, like playing the 
fiddle, seems very easy to do, but in reality is a somewhat 
difficult, if not perilous operation. Taking a small but 
strong bit of thin stick, he singled out a viper and then 
pressed the stick tightly on his neck. When he saw the 
stick had a fast hold (it was not a forked stick), he caught 



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hold of the viper's neck between his finger and thumb, and 
lifted him off the ground ; the viper slashed his tail about, 
like a loose halyard in a gale of wind, and then twined his 
body round White’s hand. After a while, the beast was 
quiet, and I was able to examine him. His mouth was 
wide open, and his tiny glass-like and needle-pointed fangs 
were “ full cock ” like the lock of a shot gun. I then tickled 
his nose with a feather, and immediately learned something 
I did not know before : my irate friend moved his fangs 
alternately, first one becoming erect and then the other, 
and this in quick succession, just like a man sparring at 
the commencement of a fight ; he never moved them both 
simultaneously, and no poison came out of the fangs. I 
then got a glass slide out of the microscope, and placed it 
in the viper’s mouth ; in an instant both fangs struck down 
upon it, and were immediately retracted parallel with the 
gum — their normal position when at rest. The fangs struck 
the glass with the quickness of a bee’s sting, and seemed 
to attempt to fasten on it with a spiteful earnestness. Upon 
taking away the glass from between the viper’s jaws, I was 
delighted to observe two drops of perfectly clear trans- 
lucent fluid resting upon it, each drop corresponding to the 
place where the tooth had struck. I at once placed these 
drops under the microscope, and then saw a wondrous 
sight. After a second or two, on a sudden, a crystal-like 
fibre shot across the field of vision, and then another and 
another, these slender lines crossing each other at various 
angles, reminding me of the general appearance of an 
aurora borealis, or of delicate frost crystals on a carriage 
or room window, when there has been a sharp touch of 



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LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



frost. I was so delighted with this novel and unexpected 
phenomenon, that I ran at once into the mess-room and 
called my brother-officers to look into the microscope ; but 
though I could not have been absent from the room a 
minute, when we returned the coruscations and the crys- 
tallisations had entirely disappeared, and nothing but a 
pure fluid could be seen.’ 

On July 12, 1862, the inaugural dinner of the A«cli- 
matisation Society was held at Willis’s Rooms, the deli- 
cacies and difficulties of which Frank Buckland thus 
described : — 

1 Well, I am glad it’s over at last. I can now, for the 
first time, fully appreciate the horrible state of excitement 
which is for the most part displayed when “ Materfamilias ” 
is about to give a “ party ; ” be it dinner or dancing, the 
good lady has little to do, compared to the work of the 
unfortunate secretaries who had the getting together of 
the numerous new, and I may say extraordinary, dishes 
which were put on the table. First, then, under the head 
of 11 Potages,” was “ Birds’ nest soup ” — esteemed a great 
delicacy in China. The nests are built in caves along the 
.rocky coasts of China, Java, and Sumatra, by a swallow 
(7 lirundo esculenta). The market price of the best nests 
in China is nearly twice their weight in silver. This 
soup was the cause of much and dire anxiety to me ; at 
the last moment the gentleman who had promised them 
failed me, and it was only through the great kindness of a 
friend that we got the soup at all. He gave me four 
nests, and the cook cleverly made nearly a quart of soup 
from them ; they are formed of a species of gelatine which 
is soluble in boiling water, the soup therefore tasted 



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gelatinous, but with a very peculiar and not disagreeable 
flavour. Next we had soup of “ Tripang or Beche de Mer.” 
This is a species of Holothuria, or sea slug, found in the 
Chinese and Japanese seas. They are worth about six- 
pence each in China, and are said to be a most succulent 
and pleasant food, not at all unlike the green fat of turtle. 
These Tripangs, too, caused me much anxiety; when I 
first received them they were as hard and solid as a bit of 
horse’s hoof. I gave them to our regimental mess cook, 
and they were soaked all day and boiled all night ; the 
next morning when we looked at them — lo and behold ! — 
these dry masses had swollen out into huge, long, black- 
looking masses amazingly like the common black garden 
slug. I cut them up into small pieces instantly ; for if 
their appearance had then been made public, none of our 
guests, I am sure, would ever have touched them. These 
bits were boiled and simmered, I am afraid to say how 
many hours — the cook and I thought they would never get 
soft. However, they were soft by the time they were put 
on the table, and they were — well, if you please, capital ; 
tasting something between a bit of calf’s head (as in soup) 
and the contents of the glue-pot ; excellent for a hungry 
man, and doubtless exceedingly palatable to John China- 
man, who does not know what turtle soup, real or mock,, 
tastes like. Then followed “Nerfs de Daim” soup, made 
from the sinews of the Axis deer, which is esteemed a 
great delicacy, and even (according to Mr. Fortune) a 
royal dish, from Cochin China. These deer sinews took 
a monstrous deal of boiling, and they were simmering in 
the pot an amazingly long time ; when served up they 
were good eating, but glue-like. I am now convinced 



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LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



that the Chinese epicures love gelatinous soups ; for all 
these three soups were from China ; and when I have 
to entertain a Chinaman, I shall certainly give him a 
gelatinous soup — say sixpenny worth of carpenter’s glue, 
served for appearances’ sake in an ordinary soup tureen. 
Then followed “ Semoule soup, made from the flour of a 
wheat grown in Algeria.” This soup was more fitted for 
invalids than for ordinary table soup ; but it was very good, 
and reminded one of the porridge the giant was eating 
when Jack the giant-slayer killed him. 

‘ After soup came the entrees. No one can tell the 
trouble I had in classifying many of our dishes, and the 
cooks and I had many consultations on the subject. How- 
ever, “ Kangaroo steamer ” led off the entrees. It is a 
stew prepared with choice portions of the kangaroo, and 
is highly esteemed in Australia. The tin can given me 
was not over tight, and the consequence was, that the 
c ‘ Kangaroo steamer ” was a little “ gone off,” but not bad 
for all that. Then came “ Pepper Pot,” a favourite dish in 
the West Indies, made of various spices, and it was most 
excellent ; everybody wanted £: Pepper Pot,” and the waiters 
very nearly quarrelled over it in their anxiety to obtain 
supplies ; and as I was helping it I was obliged to tap 
their fingers with the spoon, to keep them and their plates 
out of the way. Then we had “ Chickens prepared with 
curry powder from Siam,” and “ Ris de veau,” prepared 
with spices from Jamaica. I believe they were good, for 
they were all cut up and gone in an instant. 

‘ After these followed the releves , beginning with “ One 
of the Society’s Chinese Lambs, roasted whole, from 



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Shanghai.” Poor lamb, he was very innocent, and also 
capital eating, for his bones were in ten minutes picked as 
clean as if a flock of vultures had been at him. Then 
came “ Kangaroo ham,” rather dry (it had not been soaked 
enough), and very small ; but it got a good character, for, 
by some mistake, the u Kangaroo ham ” cards were placed 
with the dish containing “ wild boar ham,” and many of 
our guests were eating wild boar s flesh when they thought 
they had got kangaroo. Now come the rots. Among these 
figured a “ Syrian Pig,” a “ Canadian Goose,” a “ Guan,” 
a “ Curassow,” and a “ Honduras Turkey.” These three 
latter birds are from South America, and were placed on 
the table to show what immense additions they would 
be to our tables as food, and everybody knows how orna- 
mental they are in appearance. Then we had three couples 
of the peculiar duck bred by the Hon. G. Berkeley, namely, 
a cross between the wild pin-tail and the common duck, 
which combines the flavour of both birds, and will multiply 
like ordinary ducks. We had also three couple of “ dusky 
ducks,” and very good they were. 

‘ The “ Leporines ” were kindly given me by Mr. Bart- 
lett. They are said to be half rabbit, half hare ; but as 
the test of the knife and fork had never been applied to 
them, I was most anxious that it should be used on this 
occasion ; the verdict from both the roast and boiled speci- 
mens being that this animal has 90 per cent, of the rabbit 
in his composition. 

1 Among the entremets figured “ sweet potatoes from 
Algeria,” and Dioscorea Batatas from the branch society 
in Guernsey, both excellent, and promising well to be a 



120 



LIFE OF FKANK BUCKLAND 



great addition to the common potato. In taste they were 
like very good mashed potatoes, with a peculiar delicacy 
about them. 

‘ Under the head of “ Hors d’GEuvres,” we placed on 
the table “ Digby herring salad,” the fish being from Nova 
Scotia, and “ Botargo,” which is the roe of the red mullet, 
dried and used as caviare by the gourmets of the Ionian 
Islands — both excellent, as the empty dishes proved. The 
dessert consisted of “ Dried Bananas,” from the lie de la 
Reunion (Bourbon) — a wonderful sweetmeat ; “ Preserved 
Bibas ; ” the fruit of Eriobotrya japonica (also from 
Bourbon), having a sweet acid and most palatable taste ; 
“ Preserved Cassareep ” and “ Guava Jelly,” from Dominica ; 
“ Rosella Jelly,” from Queensland — all very good and highly 
approved of. 

‘ After dessert were presented : a new kind of coffee — 
“ Cassia orientalis,” a new substitute for chicory — and a 

A 

new tea called “ Ayapana ” tea, all from the He de la 
Reunion, and all, I suppose, pretty good, as they were 
gone when I went, late in the evening, to get a taste of 

them. As for the wines and liqueurs, their name was 
legion. They came from Victoria, New South Wales, 
Queensland, Guadaloupe, Algeria, Ionian Islands, Mar- 
tinique, Ac., the long row of empty bottles showing that 
the palates of the guests had approved of what was placed 
in their glasses. 

1 Speeches from the noble Chairman (Lord Stanley), and 
many influential gentlemen from France and Australia and 
our numerous colonies, of course, followed the repast 
adding a feast of intellect to a feast of the appetite. Thus, 

then, ended one of the most agreeable dinners (except that 



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I and my co-secretary got nothing to eat till nearly twelve 
o’clock) I ever was present at.’ 

The author of endless merriment in his regiment, 
Frank Buckland was sometimes the unwitting cause of 
breach of discipline. One Sunday in 1SG2, at church 
parade, the men all burst out laughing, to the scandal of 
the colonel, who angrily appealed to the adjutant. The 
adjutant turning round roared with laughter, as did the 
sergeant-major. The colonel then turned, and beheld Frank 
Buckland coming out of his quarters, attended by Brice the 
French giant and a dwarf then exhibiting in London, who, 
being like Frank, off duty on Sunday morning, had come 
to breakfast with him. 

This giant, a huge but well-proportioned and really 
amiable man of about 7 feet 8 inches, was first found by 
Frank Buckland exhibiting himself in associations deroga- 
tory to his worth, and was advised to insist on better treat- 
ment or quit. ‘ But,’ said Frank, ‘ I was soon cured of giving 
practical advice ; ’ a few days afterwards a cab drove up, 
from which emerged the giant, who had taken the kind 
advice literally, had left his exhibition and appealed to 
Frank as his only friend to help him to a better livelihood ; 
and not in vain (though few would care to have a giant 
thrown on their hands) ; he was cared for, and ere long 
started afresh under happier auspices. 

After this Brice was a not unfrequent visitor, to the 
delight of the neighbouring youth, bringing a few years 
later his wife, 1 a very agreeable, good-looking, chatty girl.’ 
A pair of the giant’s shoes, and a cast of his huge hand, 
were retained as keepsakes. 

A lady dwarf was one day invited to meet him, but 



122 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



with untoward results ; the good-natured giant took her 
up, as a little girl, on his knee, causing an explosion of 
indignation. 1 1 am nineteen,’ she cried, ‘ and to treat me 
like a baby ! ’ It was long before her ruffled dignity could 
be appeased. 



123 



CHAPTER VII. 

FISH CULTURE: 1863-1 S65. 

In 1860, the senior surgeon of the Second Life Guards 
having died, Frank Buckland applied for promotion. His 
application for the full surgeoncy was strongly supported 
by Lord Seaton the colonel, and other officers of the regi- 
ment, and by Sir Roderick Murchison, Sir Benjamin Brodie, 
and other friends. According to the old tradition of the 
Guards, the medical officers were promoted as vacancies 
occurred in the same regiment, but, under new regulations, 
it was now proposed that promotion should go by seniority 
in the brigade, instead of in each regiment, or that the 
colonel might, if he chose, appoint a surgeon from the line ; 
and it was decided at the Horse Guards to give the pre- 
ference to an assistant surgeon of older standing from 
another regiment. 

The disappointment of promotion in his old regiment, 
and the growing success of his literary and scientific career, 
led him, in 1863, to resign his commission after eight years’ 
service, and to devote himself to literature and practical 
natural history. 

On leaving the army, Frank Buckland threw himself 
with renewed ardour into the work he had now chosen for 
life. 



124 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



There have been many scientific naturalists who have 
enlarged or classified our knowledge of animal life. This 
was not the ideal Frank Buckland set before himself, so 
much as the practical application of that knowledge for 
the welfare of mankind, especially by the increase of food 
supply ; yet no fact connected with nature was disregarded 
by him, and he laboured steadfastly to kindle in others 
that love of nature which inspired himself, and to set every 
one with whom he had to do, to use their own eyes and 
faculties, in observing and recording facts of natural 

Fish culture was henceforward his chief pursuit, and 
his life became one of incessant activity, bodily and 
mental. As the knowledge of fish-hatching spread, many 
sought his aid in fitting up the apparatus in different parts 
of the country, and it became necessary to provide ova 
for the multiplying nurseries. Winter is the spawning 
time for trout, and in January and February of each year 
he worked hard in collecting trout ova in diffei’ent rivers 
— no easy task in time of frost — the intervals of time being 
filled up with literary and other labour. He corresponded 
also with the directors of the French Government Esta- 
blishment of Pisciculture at Huningue, whence he received 
consignments of fish ova, principally of salmon, salmon 
trout, and Great Lake trout. As the eggs were collected 
or received, immediate provision was made for their nurture 
on artificial gravel beds with running water. Some were 
distributed through the country to those who were begin- 
ning fish culture, others were temporarily provided for 
at his own house. These are among his notes for one 
month : — 



history 



FISH CULTURE 



125 



‘ February 6 , I 860 . — Shifted my eggs into a bath in my 
room. 

‘ 7th . — Down to Chalfont Park, Gerrard’s Cross, to Mr. 
Hibberts, and robbed trouts’ nests of several thousand eggs. 
Brought eggs home and put them in the “ Field ” office. 
No eyes yet in the eggs.’ 

< Qth. — Eo-o-s of first lot of Rhine salmon hatched out 

OO 

in my bath.’ 

‘ 12 th. — Down to Carshalton with S. Gurney, Esq., 
M.P. ; got about 3,000 trout ova. Mr. Gurney offers water 
for acclimatisation experiments.’ 

‘17 th. — To Carshalton; spaAvned a hat-full of trout 
ova, white and red. 3,000 salmon trout and 2,000 Great 
Lake trout came from Huningue. 

c 18 th. — Took Great Lake trout to Zoological.’ 

‘ 21st. — To St. Mary Cray to get ova for Mr. Hall 
of Farningham. With me went Bartlett and Pennell. Got 
betAveen three and four thousand. Salmon ova arrived from 
Galway yesterday.’ 

‘ 23rd. — Busy with the fish all day. Deceived salmon 
from Allies ; exchanged fish Avith Bartlett. 

c 24 th. — Read paper at Zoological on fish-hatching ; a 
great success. 

‘ 25 th. — At British Museum dissecting salmon with 
Gunther ; lunch with Gould ; talk about ouzel. 

‘2 6th. — 3,000 Great Lake trout eggs, 1,500 Ombre 
Chevalier, and 2,000 salmon trout arrived ; left them in 
box all night.’ 

‘ 28 th. — 2,500 Great Lake trout eggs arrived.’ 

1 March 3. — With Mr. Youl by appointment, and 
examined the salmon ova he had packed in ice, which 



126 



LIFE OF FKANK BUCKLAND 



had been there forty-five days. Duke of Argyll called on 
me about grayling spawn j lots of people at “ Field.” ’ 

The intermediate days were much occupied with meet- 
ing numerous persons, including Professors Huxley and 
Flower, at the 1 Field ’ office, explaining the fish-hatching 
apparatus, and enlisting their sympathy and aid. 

Several letters on fish-hatching were also written to the 
‘ Times,’ attracting public attention. 

He showed the fish-hatching apparatus successively at 
the Microscopical and the Royal Societies, and also at the 
Dog Show at Islington, where it excited great interest, and 
where he was first introduced to the Prince of Wales, who 
‘ examined all I had to show him, and was most kind and 
gracious.’ 

c The crowd round the boxes,’ he wrote, ‘ was thick, as I 
know from personal experience, and there were often so 
many good folks pressing to look at the fish, that I was in fear 
and dread that I should be speedily buried, fish and all, in 
the ruins of the entire edifice. The week at the Dog Show 
was great fun, and upon my word I do not know whether 
the young salmon and trout did not think themselves 
equally honoured as their master. Fish of the world are 
they, travelled fellows, distinguished foreigners, who have 
been naturalised in England, according to the proper forms 
and regulations ; taken from their original home, the Rhine, 
the Lake of Geneva, or trout streams in the south of 
France, collected at Huningue under the fostering care of 
my good friend M. Coumes, the chief engineer of the 
Piscicultural Establishment ; stuffed into moss in the form 
of eggs, shut up close in bottles, and packed tightly in 
boxes, they have travelled many a long mile both by rail 



FISH CULTUKE 



127 



and steamboats ; batched in the “ Field ” window in the 
middle of London, the “ lions ” of a soiree at the Royal 
Society, the subjects of a lecture at the Royal Institution, 
the theme of many a friendly argument both in print and 
viva voce, these civilised and tame salmon will indeed have 
some fine yarns to tell the rude and wild salmon when they 
meet them again. They were insulted but once, and only 
once, when it was suggested they were only dog-fish after 
all, or they would never have been admitted into a Dog 
Show. Anyhow, these pretty silver-coated little creatures 
afforded pleasure and amusement to many thousands of 
people, who have certainly never seen a salmon alive before, 
and who looked upon a salmon as simply an article of 
housekeeping, and fit only to be cooked and eaten, a sort 
of aquatic leg of mutton or shoulder of lamb, instead of a 
fish full of life and activity.’ 

After considerable trouble, Frank Buckland arranged 
for fish-hatching boxes to be exhibited in the South Ken- 
sington Museum, and also at the Crystal Palace. In April 
he delivered a Friday evening lecture at the Royal Insti- 
tution on fish cultui’e. It was a novel experience to the 
grave members of the Royal Institution to laugh heartily 
at the racy humour with which the new practical science 
of fish culture was explained, but it was irresistible, while 
the earnestness with which the national importance of the 
subject was enforced was none the less impressive. 

The substance of the lecture was expanded into a book 
published shortly afterwards, by which he endeavoured, 
not without success, to obtain also public attention. 1 

On August 11, 1863, he married Miss Henrietta 

1 Fish- Hatching. Tinsley. 1863. 



128 



LIFE OF FRANK EUCKLAND 



Papes, having shortly before taken the house, now No. 37 
Albany Street, Regent’s Park, in which he continued to 
reside during his life ; and where he accumulated a store 
of specimens of natural history and other curiosities, and 
gathered round him a succession of pets, monkeys and 
stranger animals, with whom he lived in close social 
intimacy and mutual affection ; while fish-hatching, and, 
later on, fish-casting were actively carried on in the base- 
ment. 

The household arrangements were unconventional, and 
his Journal occasionally records experiments in unusual 
food. c B. called ; cooked a viper for luncheon.’ 1 To 
Wevbridge ; out fishing with P. and W. ; cooked perch 
and frog on the shore.’ 1 Had some elephant-trunk soup.’ 
The trunk itself was boiled for days, if not weeks, without 
being sensibly mollified. A plentiful supply of roast giraffe 
appeared when the giraffe-house at the Gardens was burned ; 
the meat was white and tasted like veal. Other deceased 
animals from the Gardens were occasionally experimented 
upon. 

His home in Albany Street became the rendezvous not 
only of all who loved practical natural history, or sought 
information on any subject connected with his favourite 
pursuits, but also of many outlandish folk. 

‘ July 6. — The New Zealanders came to lunch with me. 
Afterwards went to the Zoological Gardens, and over the 
First Life Guards’ stables. Altogether great fun.’ 

They showed intense fear at the sight of the elephant, 
but were delighted to see the zebra, who, they said, had 
tattooed his face, and the chief offered to tattoo their host’s 
face in return for his kindness, whispering in broken 



FISH CULTURE 



129 



English, ‘ You g'ood to me, 1110 moco (tattoo) j our face j me 
you tattoo beautiful as Rangativa.’ 

Among his numerous pets at this time, one of the most 
original was a ‘Laughing Jackass, of whose habits and 
behaviour he wrote this amusing description : 1 

‘ It is very necessary for those who wish to gain know- 
ledge of natural objects to ascertain the local names by 
which they are called, in the places where the search for 
them is made. Thus a naturalist, desirous to obtain a 
specimen of a bird peculiar to Australia, would exceedingly 
puzzle his friend if he wrote to tell him to send home a 
“ Dacelo Gicas ; ” but if, on the contrary, his friend were 
told to send a “ Laughing Jackass,” he would probably be 
able to execute the commission. Australia, like China, is 
a very queer place, and there are some very queer animals 
in it. Among the birds of Australia, I know none more 
extraordinary than the “ Laughing Jackass.” He is a true 
kingfisher alike in his personal appearance, his structure, 
and his habits. One’s idea, however, of a kingfisher is 
generally associated with a water-loving bird ; but this 
Australian kingfisher is not a water-bird, but a land-bird, 
and preys not upon fish, but rather upon grubs, worms, 
snakes, frogs, mice, &c. ; he is, in fact, a scavenger in the 
true sense of the word, and if any creature ought to be 
protected more than another it is that which performs the 
duty of a scavenger. 

‘ It has been stated that the only things which acclima- 
tise themselves , without pain or trouble being taken in the 
matter by human beings, have been rats and blue-bottle 
flies — a fact which may possibly excite a smile ; but when 

1 The Queen , June 1804. 



K 



130 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCK LAND 



we come to consider the matter philosophically, rats and 
blue-bottle flies are, in reality, among the most useful of 
created things to the human race. True it is, indeed, that 
we cannot eat them ; but everything in this world was not 
made to be eaten, and these despised creatures really do 
great service to us by getting rid of decaying substances, 
which would otherwise breed fever. Now, the “ Laughing 
Jackass ” is of the greatest service to our friends in 
Australia in his humble capacity of scavenger. How 
thankful would every person in danger from the bite of a 
venomous snake be, to see a “ Laughing Jackass ” suddenly 
descend from his perch, and seize upon and devour the 
poisonous reptile on which, in another instant, he might 
have placed his foot, and have received a lethal wound. 

‘ The “ Laughing Jackass,” therefore, of Australia, is 
one of the most useful birds — I might almost say “ pro- 
tecting” birds — not only to the person but also to the 
property of the sheep farmer. This “ gogera,” as it is 
called by the blacks, is, withal, a merry, joyous fellow ; he 
is not a sulky-looking creature, like the vulture of ill omen, 
but he shows the delight with which he goes about the 
work nature has appointed for him to perform by laughing 
most heartily ; not a faint, languid expression of pleasure, 
but a downright hearty laugh. A lot of them, we learn 
from Dr. Bennett, may be seen high up in a eucalyptus or 
gum tree ; and when the traveller attempts to drive them 
off, instead of flying away, they will commence a hearty 
laugh, one joining in the chorus after another till the 
whole forest resounds with their merry music. AEsop 
records the fact of an old lady, who, in order to make her 
maids get up early in the morning, took special care of a 



FISII CULTURE 



131 

fine specimen of a “ bright chanticleer,” whose special duty 
it was to “ proclaim the morn ” to the sleepy servant maids. 
Should any of my readers wish to make their servants get 
up in proper time, let them at once purchase a “ Laughing 
Jackass,” and if this fellow by his cachinnations does not 
wake the whole household, he will have lost the good cha- 
racter he possessed when at home in Australia. I once 
heard that a visitor to a country farm declared he could get 
no sleep at night, inasmuch as the geese kept up a continual 
dialogue throughout the hours of darkness ; when morning 
arrived the cocks and hens began their chatter ; at last they 
went out with the geese to feed, and the unfortunate country 
visitor thought he would have some repose. Vain hope 
indeed, for the farm men came and Trilled a pig under the 
window , thus rousing him up entirely for the rest of the 
day. If the owner of the farm had happened to have been 
the possessor of a “ Laughing Jackass,” I warrant he 
would have made as much noise, as did the poor pig when 
in the hands of the farm men. 

‘ For the last few days I have had a “ Laughing Jackass ” 
in my possession — as fine a jackass as could be found within 
a hundred miles of St. Paul’s. In fact, I had only one 
fault to find with him, and that was that he would never 
laugh. The cause of this defect in his education possibly 
may have been, that I never gave him anything to laugh 
about; this, however, was not my fault, for I gave him 
plenty of good and wholesome food in the shape of raw 
meat, &c., which he took with a dignity becoming this 
most distinguished of strangers. Wishing, moreover, to 
try his destructive powers, I showed him one day a mouse ; 
in a moment all his feathers bristled up, and he appeared 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



132 



to be (like an enraged tom-cat) twice his natural size. I 
held the mouse to his cage, and in an instant he seized the 
animal with his tremendous beak, and gulped him down 
with apparently the greatest satisfaction. He then began a 
slight titter, which I trusted he would increase gradually 
to a laugh, but I suppose he thought it an occasion hardly 
worth laughing about, so he shut up his feathers again, 
and composed himself to sleep. In this attitude I fancied 
I detected a sly expression about his eye, as much as to 
say, “ I know you want me to laugh ; I can laugh if I 
like, but I will not laugh.” My bii’d was about the size of 
a large magpie, very like an English kingfisher in general 
shape ; though his colour was brown, still he was a very 
pretty bird— so beautiful, indeed, was he that a lady bor- 
rowed him, for a day or so, to exhibit him at a bazaar in the 
Hanover-square Rooms. Here, I understand, he was much 
admired by the fair visitoi’s ; though, from all I hear, he 
did not appreciate the compliment as much as he ought. 
In due time he was brought back home. I gave him his 
breakfast, and put him out in the sun, which he much en- 
joyed after his sojourn in a hot, crowded room. I turned 
my back for a moment, and on looking round again was 
perfectly horrified at what I saw. Alas ! alas ! the jackass 
had found a bar of the cage, which had been broken at the 
bazaar, had tested it with his beak, and finding that it 
yielded, had pulled it on one side and flown away. De- 
lighted with his cleverness, and, possibly, also rejoicing at 
the discomfiture of his owner, away he flew into the 
Regent’s Park. One parting farewell only he gave me ; 
the l’ascal actually stopped in his flight, and for the first 
and last time I heard his hearty laugh. The poor bird had 



FISH CULTURE 



133 



at last found out something to laugh about, namely, that 
he had made his escape most cleverly, and that, though he 
had been denominated a jackass, his actions and the clever 
manner in which he got out of the cage proved most 
effectually that he was really no jackass at all. 

‘ Everyone who has read that capital story, “ Lost Sir 
Massingberd,” will know what tremendous mystery was 
excited by the sudden disappearance of this cruel, hard- 
hearted country squire, whose body was ultimately found 
(as everyone knows) in the hollow of an old tree. When 
my “ Laughing Jackass ” flew away, I was in a state of de- 
spair, and as the angler, when he has lost a fish, invari- 
ably stares straight into the water as though that would 
recover the fish, so after my “Laughing Jackass” flew 
away I frequently found myself staring vacantly in the air, 
in hopes I might see something of the lost pet. I have 
recovered him, and in this wise : — He escaped from his 
cage on Sunday morning, and on Monday night I was 
greeted with the agreeable news that “ the Laughing 
Jackass had come back.” It appears that a gentleman 
living in Stanhope Street, Hampstead Road, had, on 
going into his bedroom, the same day that the bird was 
lost, found him perched at the foot of his bed fast asleep, 
looking as merry and as comfortable as possible. Thinking 
that this was a strange bird, which had escaped from the 
Zoological Gardens, he went the next day to the gardens ; 
Mr. Bartlett knew it must be my bird, and accordingly 
the bird was sent to me. On his arrival his left wing was 
immediately cut with a pair of scissors to prevent further 
accidents. Immediately the operation was performed he 
attempted to fly away, and, finding that his wing would 



134 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



not act, lie lost his temper, and turning round pecked most 
furiously at his cut wing — in fact, he was so very angry 
at finding that his wing would not act properly, that he 
hopped round and round the table, and uttered sounds the 
very reverse of laughing. He was then put in a cage, and 
remained there all night, attempting to clean his feathers, 
which were as black as though he had come down a 
chimney. He was let out in the morning, and perceiving 
a pan of cold water, immediately plunged into it ; he then 
went out in the sun, and spreading his feathers soon got 
dry. He remained perfectly sulky the whole of that day, 
but, towards evening, some cats came to pay him a visit ; 
five regular vagabond London cats were these — black, 
white, tabby, and tortoiseshell. They all assembled round 
his cage, evidently thinking they had got hold of some- 
thing good to eat ; but the “ Laughing Jackass,” putting 
up his crest, and making himself look twice his size, 
fought them all in a most plucky manner, or, as my boy 
reports, “ he regularly tackled all the lot of cats,” who 
speedily beat an ignominious retreat, every now and then 
looking round, evidently angry at not getting a meal. 

‘The “Laughing Jackass,” with his wing cut, now 
goes about the house. The other morning the big Turkish 
wolf dog, Arslan, was coming up the stairs at a gallop, 
when, suddenly, he came upon the “Laughing Jackass” 
sitting on the top step. The bird snapped his bill and 
ruffled his feathers. This was too much for the nerves of 
the big dog, who, giving a growl and an angry lash of his 
tail, ran down faster than he came up. Wishing to test 
the real powers of the bird’s beak, I turned a frog loose 
before him. The moment he saw the poor frog, he made 



FISII CULTURE 



135 



up liis mind it was good for food, and pursued it across the 
room, hopping very much with the peculiar high action of 
a street sparrow. The frog knew the bird was an enemy, 
for he also hopped away as fast as he could go, but the 
jackass was too quick for him. He caught him with his 
big bill, and made a motion as though he was going to 
swallow him forthwith, but, changing his mind, suddenly 
he hit the frog a most tremendous blow on the floor, and, 
in a minute or two, repeated the blow, knocking the frog 
about, as one sees Punch knock about the constable with 
his wooden staff. This was most interesting to observe, 
inasmuch as it proves the way in which this bird, in his 
native country, is enabled to kill a venomous snake with- 
out its being able to bite or kill him, for, being so shaken 
and knocked about, the snake has not time to turn round and 
bite. I have observed a somewhat similar thing in a young 
cuckoo. A piece of meat was given to the little creature ; 
it immediately whacked the meat against the perch of the 
cage several times consecutively, evidently denoting the 
creature’s habits of killing, in a natural wild state, cater- 
pillars, which are very “ hard lived ” creatures, before it 
swallows them. I have also given the “ Jackass ” a dead 
mouse, and it is astonishing to see how quickly he snapped 
him up. It has been observed that, when live white mice 
are given to the animals at the Zoological Gardens, the 
visitors exclaim, how cruel to sacrifice the “ dear little 
white mice; ’ but when the common brown mouse is 
given it would appear, from the remark made, that there 
is no cruelty in the matter. It is, however, in fact just as 
bad to give a brown mouse for food to an animal, as it is to 
give a white mouse. It would, moreover, seem to be the 



136 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



fact, that in some minds the brown mouse is supposed to 
be simply a “ mechanical mouse,” which is wound up by a 
hole in its side, and goes by springs under its skin ; for I 
once heard a nurse say, that she would give a little live 
white mouse to a child that was ill, because the “ nasty 
common brown mice would run round two or three times 
upon a plate and then go down ; but the little white mice 
would run round the plate ever so many times, and never 
go down.” 

‘ A friend, who has been in Australia, has examined my 
bird ; he knows him well, and has often seen him in his 
native wilds. He tells me that the bird has a custom of 
laughing in an aggravating manner when a misfortune 
happens to travellers. Thus, when a waggon loaded with 
goods breaks down in some desolate region on a long 
march, and the owner is in a great state of mind to get it 
right again, a “ Laughing Jackass” is sure to appear at 
the top of a neighbouring tree, and laugh in the most 
aggravating manner at the miserable condition of the 
traveller, till the woods resound with his merry “ Ha, ha, 
ha ! He, he, he ! Oh, oh, ho ! ” Many of us, I think, 
might take a lesson from the poor “ Laughing Jackass,” 
for surely there is no sweeter music than a hearty laugh, 
be it from man, woman, or bird.’ 

In 1862 and 1863 several live porpoises were brought 
to the Zoological Gardens, but having been injured in cap- 
ture, lived only a few days, although nursed and doctored 
with tenderest care by Frank Buckland. He took them in 
his arms and administered sal volatile or brandy-and-water, 
with temporary relief, applied caustic to their wounds, 
causing lively emotion, tempted their appetites with 



FISH CULTURE 



137 



varieties of fish, or fed the young ones with a baby’s 
feeding-bottle. 

The third porpoise lived for a short time in the stur- 
geon’s pond, and having been described by Frank Buckland 
in the ‘ Times,’ was honoured with an elegy in ‘ Punch ’ by 
Thackeray, which should not here be omitted. 

ELEGY ON THE PORPOISE. 

By the Sturgeon. 

Dead is he? yes, and wasn’t I glad when they carried away his 
corpus, 

A great black oily wallowing, walloping, plunging, ponderous porpus. 
What call had Mr. Frank Buckland, which I don’t deny his kindness, 
To take and shove into my basin a porpoise troubled with blindness ? 
I think it was like his impudence, and pYaps a little beyond, 

To poke a blundering brute like that in a gentle fish’s private pond. 
Did he know as I am the king of fish, and am written down in 
histories 

As meat for his master, that is to say, for Victoria the Queen, his 
mistress ? 

And, if right was done, I shouldn’t be here, but be sent in a water 
parcel 

To swim about in a marble tank in the gardings of Windsor Castle. 
And them as forgets the laws of the land, which is made to rule and 
control, 

And keeps a royal fish to themselves, may find themselves in a hole. 

Is a king like me, I humbly ask, to be put in a trumpery puddle, 

For fellows to walk about and spy, and talk zoological muddle ? 

And swells to come for a Sunday lounge, with French, Italians, and 
Germans, 

Which would better become to stop at home and think of the morn- 
ing’s sermons. 

And then of a Monday, to be used in a more obnoxious manner, 

Stared at by rags and tags and bobtails, that all come in for a tanner. 
And me, the king of fish, indeed, which it’s treating china like delf, 

Mr. Kingfisher Buckland, Sir, I think, you might be ashamed of your- 
self. 



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LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



And then I can’t bo left alone, but you come and stick in a big, 

Blind, blustering, snorty, oily beast, which is only an old sea pig. 

I’m heartily glad lie’s dead, the pig ; I was pleased to my very 
marrow, 

To see the keeper wheel him away in that dirty old garding barrow. 
And thought it was not flattering, last Sunday as ever were, 

To hear the swells as had read the ‘ Times ’ come rushing up for a stare, 
And crying, ‘ Bother the Sturgeon, it’s the Porpus I want to see,’ 

And going away in a state of huff, because there was only me. 

It was pleasant (and kings have right divine to feel a little malicious) 
To see ’em sent to behold his cops in the barrow behind the fish- 
house. 

So when Mr. Buckland next obtains a porpoise as wants a surgeon, 
Perhaps he won’t insert that pig beside of a royal sturgeon. 

I’ve heard the tench is a cunning fish, and effects a perfect cure 
Of other fish put into his pond, which he’s welcome to do, I’m sure ; 
But don’t bring sick porpoises up to me, I’m kin to the old sea devil, 
And though a king, I’m not inclined to be touching fish for the evil. 
Besides, a Porpus isn’t a fish, but a highly-developed man ; 

Improved, of course, with a tail and fins, on the famous Westiges plan. 
The Phocsenor Rondoletii, though his scent in sultry weather 
Was not like Rondoletia nor Frangipanni neither ; 

But that is neither here nor there, and as I previously said, 

From the bottom of both my heart and pond, I’m glad the porpoise 
is dead. 

The Sturgeon. 

Royal Zoological Gardens. 

At this time the natural history columns of the £ Field,’ 
of which department he had become editor, and later 
those of 1 Land and Water,’ teemed with curious corre- 
spondence and discussions. These columns were his life- 
long delight ; no crabbed refusal, no supercilious sneer, 
ever disheartened those who sought knowledge in them, 
or tried to add to its stores. Everybody was heartily 
welcome to contribute, so that they were in earnest and 
loved nature, and every contributor seemed to find a 
friend in the genial and kindly editor. 



FISH CULTURE 



139 



The Acclimatisation Society continued to engage much 
time and interest. A visit to the Treasurer of the So- 
ciety, Mr. Bush, who took charge of the animals on their 
arrival in this country, he thus described in August 
1863 i— 1 

‘ It was only the other day that I found myself sitting 
on the top of a carrier’s light cart, jolting through the 
purlieus of Whitechapel, the “ conducteur ” of a valuable 
cargo ; for behind me were two large crates, the one con- 
taining two “ native companions,” the other an emeu, sent 
to the Society from the Acclimatisation Society of Brisbane. 
The poor birds, though kindly treated on board ship, were 
in a terrible state of alarm as we jolted over the stones, 
and uttered plaintive cries of distress and uneasiness ; and 
when, arrived at their journey’s end, Mr. Bush and I un- 
packed them, they seemed shy of us, and retreated into a 
corner like naughty children. Now, how different are 
these poor birds ! No sooner did I come out of the door 
with Mr. Bush, than the “ native companions ” (the Austra- 
lian name of a large and handsome species of crane) came 
rushing up with outspread wings to the iron railings ; the 
emeu, who was feeding near the Chinese sheep at a dis- 
tance, came hasting up with that peculiar swift but one- 
sided run which is so very remarkable. The birds patiently 
waited their master, and, when he approached, the cranes 
began a sort of “ niggers around ” dance, and stretching- 
up their long necks with a cry of pleasure, reminded one 
of the picture in “ iEsop’s Fables ” of the cranes asking 
Jupiter for a king. They seemed to know where Mr. Bush’s 
pockets were, and were not disappointed. One of them 

1 The Queen. 



140 



LIFE 01 y FRANK BUCK LAND 



lias a game leg, and it was most amusing to see him hob- 
bling about lest his companion should get too much, for 
even in animals, as, I regret to say, in our own species, the 
moment an individual, by his own exertions, obtains any 
success, others immediately try to wrest it from him. 
When the native companions had received their rations, 
Mr. Bush went close up to them. They did not attempt 
to run away, but, on the contrary, bent down their heads 
towards the ground, and made the most absurd bow, 
amounting to a curtesy, as graceful as any young lady 
would give at her first drawing-room. It was, moreover, 
curious to remark, how impatient these birds are (as, 
indeed, are all animals) of the human touch. After they 
had been caressed by the master, they ruffled up all their 
feathers with a shudder, and then arranged them with 
their long bills, though they were apparently in perfect 
order before. I observe something like this among our- 
selves. People who have their hair cut, generally have it 
neatly brushed by the hairdresser, yet nine people out of 
ten will borrow the hairbrush and arrange it for them- 
selves, even though, to outward appearance, it requires no 
arrangement whatever. I have asked a hairdresser if he 

D 

has observed this fact in his shop, and he says that it is so, 
but he cannot account for it, neither can I. I should like 
to know if ladies give the finishing touch with their own 
brushes, when the court hairdresser acknowledges their 
coiffeur quite perfect. While the native companions were 
eating, the emeu was in a great state of mind. He 
stretched out his long neck, and cried with a peculiar 
piteous cry, very like that of the seagull, which we hear 
in stormy weather at sea. He pecked at everything 



FISH CULTURE 



141 



offered, but, somehow or another, seemed to know if it was 
o-ood to eat or not; and here let me observe, that birds, 
even though they have horny bills, have the sense of touch 
or taste highly developed, for I have often seen poultry 
reject what was not good for them to eat ; and, again, I 
never saw a cock or hen take a bad shot at a grain of 
wheat or corn which was good to eat. In the same way, 
the emeu pecked at everything proffered, but rejected all 
but that which was fit for food ; he tasted a cigar end, but 
swallowed a lump of barley-meal. This bird has a most 
tremendous appetite, and eats as much grass as a sheep. 
When he is eating his attitude is remarkable. He squats 
down, with his long legs parallel to and on the ground, 
and pecks away at the grass, tearing it up somewhat after 
the fashion of a goose. When he wishes to advance, he 
does not get up on his feet, but moves his legs forward like 
a man walking on his knees. I think that this must be 
his proper attitude when feeding in the bush, for, if erect, 
his tall stature would call the attention of the native 
“ black men,” who from afar would quickly have his head 
off, with a stroke of that terrible weapon in trained hands, 
the boomerang. In a crouching attitude he has a much 
greater chance of escaping observation and saving his 
life. A friend has asked me to examine an emeu’s nest 
which he has brought with him from Australia. I do not 
expect to see much of a nest, for it is curious that these 
great running birds, who never fly (for they have hardly 
any wings), seem very careless about their nests ; whereas 
birds that fly in the air, and are bad runners, have a much 
more complicated and highly finished nest. The eggs of 
the emeu are of a beautiful green colour, and she makes 



142 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



her nest in the bush. May not the green colour have some- 
what to do with the preservation of the eggs from depre- 
dators — both men and animals ? The ostrich places her 
eggs in the sand ; they are not green, but of a somewhat 
sand-like colour. It would be a curious subject to ascer- 
tain how far the colour of eggs laid by the birds in open 
nests on the ground coincides with the soil and vegetation 
on which they are placed. The emeu has been known to 
lay eggs in England. Could we but once get them as 
common inmates of gentlemen’s parks and ornamental 
grounds, who would say that the Acclimatisation Society 
had not done some good ? They would surely be great 
pets with the ladies ; and if the gentlemen must have 
some sport out of them let them course them; it would, 
however, require a good dog, barring a greyhound, to catch 
them ; and when the dogs did come up alongside them, 
they would still have to keep clear of the kicks, which the 
bird can give, if he pleases, with a vengeance. In the 
yard were the Honduras turkeys, the guan, the dusky 
ducks, the black-bone fowls, the rooks, the bronze-winged 
pigeons, &c., &c. These creatures knew the master’s foot- 
fall, were all ready to receive him, and wherever he went 
they dogged his footsteps, as though they knew that he 
is their true friend and protector. But of all interesting 
little birds commend me to the trumpeter birds. These 
little creatures hail from South America. They are about 
as big as a Guinea fowl, and instead of the cry of “ come 
back,” “ come back,” utter a peculiar musical note, whence 
they derive their name of “ trumpeter birds.” These 
birds are more than tame, they are as domesticated as dogs, 
and seem unhappy if not in the society of their master 



FISH CULTURE 



143 



and mistress. They sit outside the hall door, and, when 
they have the chance, come trumpeting in along the hall 
as though they knew they were trespassing, till they 
arrive at the dining-room, where they will introduce them- 
selves, and perch down with a lack of shyness which would 
be invaluable to many of us. In their native country they 
are said to be used to help the shepherd drive his flock, 
and the story holds good, for Mr. Bartlett tells me that 
when he wants to catch a bird out of the aviary at the 
Zoological Gardens, where the trumpeter is, the bird will 
see what he wants, and help to drive and cut off the 
individual bird that is to be captured. 

1 The latest importation we visited was the wombat from 
Australia. Mrs. Bush said he was like a “ big rat ” ; we 
agreed he rather was like “ a little bear,” but none of us 
could see much of him, as he was still in his tin-lined case, 
and as disagreeable as possible. We hauled him up to the 
light to look at his formidable teeth and terrible scratching 
claws, and were only glad to let him go again, when he 
scuttled to the back of his box, and grunted defiance. 
Never mind, Mr. Wombat ; if Mr. and Mrs. Bush don’t 
tame you, and that very shortly, it will be indeed wonderful, 
and you will be an ungrateful wombat. In a few days, I 
hope, you will have learnt English manners under their 
superintendence, and then, if you behave yourself, I will 
introduce you to my readers.’ 

In 1864, Frank Buckland visited Paris, and personally 
discussed pisciculture and acclimatisation with M. Coste 
and other French savants interested in those subjects. 

Both these interests were combined, in the endeavour 
to introduce trout and salmon into our Australian colonies, 



144 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCK LAND 



which lie this year commenced in conjunction with Mr. 
Youl. The success of this experiment was thus described 
in the official report of Mr. Ffennell, the first Inspector of 
Fisheries for England and Wales : — 

1 The most interesting event in the experiments that 
have been made in artificial propagation, perhaps, is 
that so successfully carried out in transmitting salmon 
and trout ova to Australia. The first attempt failed. 
The eggs were sent out placed in water-troughs in the 
usual way ; but, although ice was employed, it was found 
that the water could not be kept in a state to enable the 
tiny creatures to live through the voyage, although they 
were hatched. An experiment was then tried by 
embedding some ova in ice, at the Wenham Lake 
Company’s Stores in London, under the direction of Mr 
Frank Buckland. This scientific conception resulted in a 
most valuable discovery; it was found that after in- 
cubation had been thus suspended for over one hundred 
days, the vitality of the ova had not been destroyed, and 
when placed in running water, under the influence of a 
natural atmosphere, that the fish came into the world 
strong and healthy. A vessel was chartered and made 
ready for the next spawning season, a good supply of ice 
laid in, and a quantity of ova obtained and despatched ; 
it arrived safely, and, being placed in the waters of the 
country for which it was destined, under suitable arrange- 
ments, in due time produced its welcome offspring ; they 
have arrived at the smolt state, and have been enlarged 
for their journey to the sea; their return as grilse will 
be anxiously watched, and may be hopefully looked for. 
Those who have carried out this very important under- 






FISH CULTURE 



145 



taking so far, deserve the highest praise for their enter- 
prising zeal, perseverance, and scientific skill in this effort 
to introduce salmon into the waters of a far-off country, 
where they were before unknown ; and with the name of 
Mr. Frank Buckland, before mentioned, who superintended 
the scientific department, the names of Mr. Youl and Mr. 
Wilson, of the Australian Acclimatisation Society, should 
be recorded as taking a foremost part, undaunted by every 
difficulty that arose, in the accomplishment of so in- 
teresting and important an object.’ 

In the same year, Frank Buckland read a paper before 
the Zoological Society on hybrids of fish and development 
of their ova, giving the results of his experiments on 
crossing the breed of salmon and trout. The whitebait 
fishery was also examined, and papers were written iden- 
tifying whitebait with the young of the herring and sprat, 
associated with other young fish ; and, amid more serious 
labours, he examined and exposed ‘ the humbug of spirit- 
rapping,’ which was then in fashion. 

In 1864, Mr. Ashworth, one of the chief promoters of 
pisciculture in Ireland and the owner of valuable salmon 
fisheries in Galway, invited Frank Buckland to come to 
Ireland, and tell him what had become of all the salmon 
fry he had hatched, and turned out in a rearing pond, in 
order to stock Lough Mask with salmon. The mystery 
was soon solved ; the pond was found swarming with 
Dytiscus, a carnivorous water-beetle. One of these creatures 
was caught and put into a bottle with two little salmon, 
which it killed and ate up before Mr. Ashworth’s eyes, and 
then suffered the penalty of its misdeeds. 

L 



146 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



Frank Buck] an cl’s first sight of salmon in the Irish 
rivers awoke all his enthusiasm. 1 

‘ We came into Galway at dusk, tired, hungry, and dust- 
covered, hut greatly pleased at a prospect of a little hard 
work out of doors. Early-bird fashion, I was up pretty soon 
to have a look about and a comfortable bath. 1 walked 
up from the fishing-house to the weir, and just above the 
bridge perceived a number of dark-looking objects lying 
motionless in the glass-clear, ever-flowing water. The 
morning sun was shining bright, and I was fearful my 
shadow would fall on the objects, whatever they might 
be ■ so I dropped instantly on my hands and knees, and 
bending forward craned my neck at them, feeling a sensa- 
tion, I should imagine, similar to that experienced by a 
pointer dog, when making a discovery of a covey of par- 
tridges on the 1st of September. Can those dark-looking 
bodies, then, be salmon ? Oh ! you shining lovely crea- 
tures ! At last, then, I see you free and at liberty in your 
native element. Mysterious water fairies, whence come ye ? 
Whither are ye going ? Why do ye hide your lustrous 
and beautiful figures in the unseen and unknown caverns 
of the deep blue sea ? Why do ye shun the eye of mortal 
man ? Hitherto I have seen only your lifeless, battered, 
and disfigured carcases mummied in ice and lying in marble 
state on fishmongers' slabs. Who could believe that in 
life you are so wondrously beautiful, so mysterious, so 
incomprehensible ? 

‘The Galway salmon-ladder is a fine specimen of its 
kind ; it is constructed of solid slabs of stone admirably 
placed. Letting myself down from the platform above, I 
1 Curiosities of Natural History, Third Series, vol. i., p. 124. 



FISH CULTUKE 



147 



observed that the water from the lake came through the 
first slot or opening in a solid, quiet-looking, board-like 
mass; but once in the steps of the ladder, it bubbled 
and boiled famously like a young Niagara. Being in an 
experimental turn of mind, I bethought me that I would, 
for a moment, just try and see what sort of sensation the 
salmon experienced when making their headway through 
this cataract, and at the same time get a pleasant morning 
bath. Oh ! that I had scales and fins for five minutes, 
thought I ; never mind, I must do without them. I then 
stepped into the ladder, but as quickly scrambled head 
over heels out again, for the water had a strong will of 
its own, and was terribly powerful, tripping up one’s feet 
in an instant. But it will never do to give it up ; so I 
made a cautious descent into the ladder, and, placing mv 
feet against the steps below me, imagined myself a salmon , 
congratulated myself on narrow escapes from the nets and 
the crevices below, and thought how very desirable it 
would be to get up to autumn quarters in Lough Corrib 
above. But all I could think or do, I could not advance 
one single inch. If I moved, in an instant the water 
knocked me about like a wood-chip in a street-gutter 
after a thunderstorm. So I chose the corner of the 
ladder where the water bubbled round, and sat there 
in state, wishing and trusting that some salmon would 
take it into his head to ascend the ladder while I was 
there. We should hob-nob very well together, thought I ; 
and we will smoke the pipe of peace together. Presently 
I heard a voice behind me, “ Bedad, your honour, you’re 
the finest fish I ever see in this ladder this long time ; 
and, by the powers, if I had got a gaff in my hand, I’d just 



148 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



strike it into your scales and see how you would like it.” I 
looked up, and there was one of the water bailiffs, who, 
watching me from afar off, could not imagine what curious 
white-skinned creature had got into the ladder and was 
floundering about in it.’ 

In October 1864 he visited the Bishop of Oxford at 
Lavington. 

‘ October 5. — Started at 12.5 to the Bishop of Oxford’s ; 
arrived there about 8 P.M. Out for a walk with the 
Bishop and Archdeacon Randall ; very pleasant conver- 
sation together. Large party at dinner. The Bishop 
very agreeable. Met Captain Henry, with his wife and 
daughters, also Ernest and Basil Wilberforce. 

‘ 6th . — Pottering about, and showed them the oysters. 
Out jack -fishing in the pond ; missed three beauties. The 
pony ran away with us twice, causing to self fear and 
trepidation. Sat next the Bishop at dinner, and kept 
the ball alive. 

‘ 7th . — Hunted rabbits with the Bishop’s sons ; then in 
the run-away pony-carriage to the station and up to 
London.’ 

The Bishop’s note is, ‘Lavington. We have had 
Frank Buckland down for a few days, and very good fun 
he was ; full of his natural history, and so simple and un- 
affected as to make him really very charming indeed. He 
has put them on trying to make the trout-fishing better ; 
so we are moving the sheep-wash, which, he says, poisons 
the fish, to the bottom of Graffam village, and there are 
to be regular spawning beds kept.’ 

To preserve and render popularly visible the results of 
his investigations into fish-breeding, he now began to cast 



FISH CULTURE 



149 



the roe of fish, and the forms of fish at different stages 
of growth. For purely scientific purposes, it may be 
preferable to preserve specimens in spirits, but such 
specimens are of little value for popular exhibition. 

Frank Buckland’s aim was to render the facts of pisci- 
culture plain to everyone, and for this purpose a coloured 
cast appeared to him best to convey to the eye the facts 
he wished to enforce. This was the beginning of that series 
of casts of fish, which remains at South Kensington a 
monument of his industry and scientific devotion. 

‘ November 28, 1864 - All day in the kitchen casting 
fish ; the eel and the salmon ; made some awful failures, 
but did not knock anything to pieces. 

1 December 3. — Mr. Durham came to show me how to 
make casts of fish.’ 

In this year Frank Buckland extended his investigations 
to oyster culture ; carefully examining the principal beds, 
and making experiments on the spatting or breeding of the 
oyster ; and read an elaborate report on this subject at the 
meeting of the British Association at Bath. A course of 
lectures was also given before the Society of Arts, and three 
lectures at the London Institution on the artificial breeding 
of fish and oyster culture; he lectured also at Woolwich, 
Bagshot, Clapham, Weybridge, and at Liverpool, and also in 
Ireland. He also took part in the formation of a Company 
for the culture of oysters at Herne Bay, and gave evidence 
before the House of Commons on the subject. The Com- 
pany, from which he afterwards withdrew, was not, from 

various causes, ultimately successful. 

% 

The artificial culture of the oyster had long been carried 
on in France, at Cancale and Arcachon, in a more elaborate 



150 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



manner than had hitherto been attempted in England ; and 
the growing scarcity of oysters made it important to 
inquire into the causes of their failure, and the best means 
of increasing their supply. 

Heat and tranquillity were the conditions necessary for 
a good fall of 1 spat,’ as the oyster brood is called, and 
there had been successive cold and stormy seasons at the 
breeding time. 

In the early summer, when the months have no ‘ r ’ in 
their names, and oysters are out of season, the lady oyster 
emits the grey ‘ spat,’ which clouds the surrounding water 
and floats to the surface. Seen under the microscope the 
grey cloud is resolved into a multitude of sand-like grains, 
each a minute bivalve oyster, but furnished with a row of 
ciliae or legs, with which the tiny creature makes haste to 
swim away, in search of some hard substance, whether 
rock or shell, or artificial tile, to which it can adhere. 
Having steered their owner to some safe anchorage, the 
ciliae are no longer required, and the young oyster remains 
fixed for life, until three or four years later the fatal dredge 
lifts him again to the surface, and he is carried off to 
market. 

If, when the spat is emitted, the water is cold or stormy, 
the tiny oyster cloud sinks to the bottom and dies, while, 
in warm calm weather, it spreads far and wide over the 
rocks and shells, and forms a ‘ golden spat.’ 

Much, however, may be done in the way of culture by 
placing the oysters in favourable breeding beds, strewn with 
tiles, slates, old oyster shells, or other suitable ‘ culcli ’ for the 
spat to adhere to, and clearing the beds of the oysters ene- 
mies, the whelk-tingle, which bores a hole through the oyster 



FISH CULTURE 



151 



shell with its sharp tongue, and the star-fish, or five-finger, 
which clasps the oyster round, and, insinuating its slender 
feelers between the shells, sucks out its life. 

The position of the beds, too, and the food of the oyster 
must be studied. The brackish water of estuaries, as at 
Whit stable and Colchester, furnishes food; here are the 
best fattening beds, and to them are transferred the young 
oysters from the deep sea, where they develope thick shell 
and little meat ; but, laid down in the fatting beds, they 
grow up thin-shelled and plump. 

These, and other principles of oyster culture, Frank 
Buckland studied and worked out, by personal observation 
and familiar intercourse with the oyster dredgers ; and 
then strove, by lectures and writing, to make them 
matters of common knowledge and interest to all classes 
of people. 

With what energy he threw himself heart and soul into 
this work, and fish culture generally, his Diary shows. At 
the close of 1864, he visited Galway, to examine the salmon 
fisheries there, returning to England on New Year’s Day, 
1865. On January 5, he surveyed the Wye with the late 
Mr. Ffennell, then one of the Inspectors of Fisheries. On 
the 9th, he was collecting trout eggs at Lord Dorchester’s. 
On the 11th, at Lord Portsmouth’s. On the 12th, he 
visited the Duke of Marlborough, who always took a 
warm interest in his pursuits. On the 13th, he returned 
to London and published in successive weeks papers on 
oyster culture in the c Field.’ 

On January 27 he was at Aldermaston Park, Berks, 
the seat of his friend, Mr. IJigford Burr, superintending 
the placing in his ponds of specimens of the Silurus 



152 



LIFE OF FEANK BUCKLAND 



(jlamis, a large fish, introduced from Austria, an operation 
thus described : — 

‘ In the month of January 1865 Sir Stephen Lakeman, 
who resides at Bucharest, in Wallachia, brought over to this 
country eleven specimens of silurus. They were about one 
foot long, and by any ordinary observer would have been 
taken for the ordinary burbolt. My friend Mr. Higford 
Burr, having prepared a pond to receive these valuable fish, 
I took them down immediately, and turned them out in the 
midst of a terrific snowstorm. On December 28, that is 
when the fish had been in the pond about one year, Mr. 
Burr let the water off the pond, and dragged it thoroughly 
with a net. He and I then waded about in the soft, almost 
dangerous, mud up to our waists, searching for the silurus 
with landing nets, but not one alive or dead could we dis- 
cover. The squire and myself then met in the middle of 
the pond and shed tears, caused by the combined effect of 
intense cold, laughter, and grief. We trust that the silurus 
were buried for the winter deep in the mud, and we hope 
to have another hunt for them next summer.’ 

On January 30 and February 2, 1865, he was again 
in quest' of eggs, wherewith to stock the fish-hatching 
boxes, now, owing to his enthusiastic advocacy, multi- 
plying in many quarters ; and after diniqg on the 14th 
at the Hunterian dinner, on the following day went to 
Exeter to survey an oyster-bed. On the 28th he lectured 
at Sheffield, on March 2 at Nottingham, while the weekly 
natural history column of the 1 Field ’ still had a full 
share of his attention. 

In March he went to Windsor several times, to examine 
the fish-ponds, and set up fish-hatching boxes for the 



FISH CULTURE 



153 



Queen, who took interest in this, as in everything affect- 
ing the welfare of her people, and in the same month 
he was appointed Fish Culturist to her Majesty. 

The Prince of Wales, and other members of the Royal 
Family, showed a warm interest in his labours to increase 
the food supply, and in April 1865, the Prince consented 
to become president of the Acclimatisation Society, Bishop 
Wilberforce also joining the council. The Prince Christian 
consulted him on matters affecting the deer and other 
denizens of Windsor Forest, of which his Royal Highness 
was ranger. 

In this year he gave evidence before the Royal Com- 
mission on sea fisheries, and also before parliamentary 
committees on the fishery of the Thames, and the oyster- 
beds of the river Roach, and advised the Home Office as to 
the pollution of rivers, one of the most serious obstacles 
to the improvement of river fisheries. 

Other lectures were also given explaining and advo- 
cating fish and oyster culture, and practical natural history, 
at the Russell Institution, thrice at the London Institution, 
'at Streatham and Islington, besides country lectures at 
Southampton, Canterbury, and Worcester. 

In May 1865, Frank Buckland was appointed Scientific 
Referee to the South Kensington Museum, and gave there 
a course of lectures, and of class demonstrations. On 
receiving this appointment, he commenced at once trans- 
ferring to the Museum his collection illustrative of fish and 
oyster culture. He had already shifted all his fish down to 
the Horticultural Gardens, about 16,500 young fish and 
eggs, and henceforth devoted much labour and time to the 
preparation of specimens for the cases, which should ill us- 



154 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



trate bis lectures, and inform the public on the subject he 
had at heart. 

In the autumn a paper was read before the British 
Association at Birmingham on the progress of oyster cul- 
ture. His Journal records a variety of social experiences : 
visits to the Duke of Northumberland, the Duke of Marl- 
borough, Lord Dorchester, Lord Burleigh, and others ; 
also c to see the Chinese giant ; dined with him. Dinner- 
party to the giant.’ 



155 



CHAPTER VIII. 

‘LAND AND WATER 5 : I860. 

In January 1866, the third series of c Curiosities of Natural 
History ’ was published, and, haying now parted company 
with the ‘ Field,’ Frank Buckland, in association with some 
friends, started £ Land and Water,’ as an independent chan- 
nel for diffusing knowledge of practical natural history, and 
fish and oyster culture. This paper soon attained a con- 
siderable circulation, due mainly to the interest his articles 
excited. 

The organisation of the paper was a work of much 
labour and anxiety. The editing of the department of 
Practical Natural History was indeed a labour of loye, 
but a very engrossing one. 

‘ January 25.- — All day at “ Land and Water ” office, 
getting ready the proofs. 

‘ 2 6th . — All day at “ Land and Water.” 

‘ 2 7 th . — Worked at articles. “ Land and Water ” born 
at two in the morning.’ 

£ Let none,’ he wrote in the first number, ‘think him- 
self unable to advance the great cause of practical natural 
history. Thousands of Englishmen and Englishwomen 
have knowledge and experience, acquired by their own 
actual observation of useful facts relating to animated 
beings, be they beasts, birds, insects, reptiles, fishes or 



15G 



LIFE OF FIUNK BUCKLAND 



plants. Friendly controversy and argument is invited on all 
questions of practical natural history, and although the 
Odium Salmonicum not unfrequently assumes more viru- 
lence than even the Odium Theologicum of the good old 
days of faggot and stake, no writer need fear that his 
pet theory shall be ruthlessly set on fire, or that his argu- 
ments shall be decapitated, without a fair and patient 
hearing.’ 

His contributions to c Land and Water’ took the place 
of the correspondence of other men. £ Write to “ Land and 
A'Vater” he used to say when questioned on any subject, 
1 1 will answer you there.’ 

The incidents of his life were here narrated, the 
facts and observations he was ever accumulating were 
here recorded. Many of these papers have been recast 
and republished ; others, hereafter extracted, may show the 
variety of subjects with which he dealt, and give a more 
vivid reflection of the writer’s intellect and character. 

These are examples from early numbers : — 

1 While lecturing lately at Worcester, a friend said to 
me, “ Buckland, it is a very curious thing, but the salmon 
in the Seame always jump at the weir, at eleven o’clock 
on Sunday morning.” I said it was a very singular thing, 
but he assured me that it was so. I shortly after met 
another friend, and I asked him also as to the time when 
the salmon jump most at the weir ; and his reply was, “ At 
eleven o’clock on Sunday morning, when they hear the 
church bells ring ; it is the church bells that make them 
jump.” I could not at the time make head nor tail of this 
story, but I have since solved the difficulty. It is not the 
church bells that make them jump ; but it so happens that 



‘LAND AND WATER’ 



157 



on Sunday morning, the mills being shut clown, the water 
conies down over the weiz’s in greater abundance than on 
any other day of the week ; the salmon find this out, and, 
like wise fish, make the best of their time in endeavouring 
to get over the weir.’ 

‘ The snails sent me have been carefully fattened on 
lettuce leaves, and I have eaten them. I fully agree with 
the gardener that they are “ better nor a winkle.” We 
send up large numbers of the common edible whelk 
from our oyster fishery at Herne Bay to the London 
market, and I have frequently tasted them on the London 
stalls, and I rather like them. The land snails are not 
quite so good as whelks, but perhaps I made a mistake 
in preparing them ; for my cook fled from the kitchen 
in dismay when told to cook the snails for dinner, and I 
was obliged to boil them myself.’ 

1 Of fossil oysters, sent me from Chislehurst, there are alto- 
gether ten specimens, and I have no hesitation in pronoun- 
cing them to be natives of the first class. I showed them 
to an oyster merchant, who pronounced them to be worth 
(if not unfortunately fossil) about sixty shillings per bushel. 
The series is most instructive ; we have two beautiful 
l ittle specimens of thorough-bred “ brood ” from one to one 
and a half inches in diameter ; for a similar sample the 
present market price is from a guinea to twenty-five 
shillings per wash. Then we have three specimens the 
o ov stez s ; once plump, handsome, aris- 

tocratic-looking natives, now as solid as marble itself. 
Then we have three specimens of oysters, which in the 
present stage would be considered too large for the London 
market, and would be thrown back on the bed to spawn. 



158 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



i have a u rough Whitstable ” which exactly matches one 
of tliese fossil oysters, both in size and appearance — one 
might take them for twins. Lastly, we have specimens of 
the “ culcli ” 1 of the period. On one shell there are eight 
spats, on another fifteen ; another is a bouquet or family 
party of seven. Oh, happy, happy days when there was a 
good crop of oysters every year, instead of, as now, once in 
every five or six years ! 

‘ Now, what deductions are we to make from these fossil 
oysters ? Chislehurst is situated about eight miles (as the 
crow flies) from Erith, which is the nearest point on the 
Thames — and at Erith the water is fresh and quite un- 
suited for oysters. These creatures must therefore have 
lived in times long anterior to our own, when neither 
Ancient Briton, Gaul, Saxon, Roman or Norman had yet 
placed a foot upon our soil, when the “ London Clay ” was 
deposited by the vast river which then drained lands now 
gone from human sight; and, possibly, at the time when 
logs of date and cocoa-nut aud palm trees, perforated by 
sea-worms, were washed up upon the shores of the Isle of 
Sheppey, indicating an arrangement of continent and a 
drift of marine currents, differing widely from those now 
existing. 

‘ These oysters probably lived in a pre-Adamic Whit- 
stable in some ancient estuary, the situation of which is 
now faintly outlined by the course of the river Cray ; there 
they lived a happy life, with no fear of dredges, cleaning 
harrows, or cultacks (instruments used in separating 
oysters grown too thickly together), till one day there came 
a heavy gale of wind at a high spring-tide, carrying with 
Old oyster-shells laid down on the bed to catch the spat. 



1 



‘LAND AND WATER’ 



159 



it a marine sirocco of fine sand and mud ; the storm fell 
upon the poor oysters; some of them opened their shells 
only to be filled with sand and become “ clocks ” (technical 
term for dead oysters when the two shells remain joined at 
the hinge). Have we not evidence of this now before our 
eyes ? Others, again, locked and bolted down their shells, 
thinking (like the people who ran into their . cellars when 
Pompeii was destroyed) thus to escape the sand storm ; but 
it was of no use ; the whole family of these unfortunate 
oysters was smothered in its bed, and, converted into fossils, 
are now to be turned out into light. I will gladly place 
these oysters in my museum.’ 

He only found time for literary work by the constant 
habit of writing while travelling on the railway ; a large 
proportion of his articles were thus written, and those 
most rapidly dashed off were often the most successful. 
He thus made time to lecture in January and February 
at Hereford, Brecon, Leeds, Halifax and Bradford, and 
later on at Norwich and Herne Bay. The Journal of two 
weeks may serve as a further example of the activity 
of his life. 

£ January 8, 1866. — By the 11.45 train went to Here- 
ford with Ponder. Lloyd met us at the station, and took 
us both over to Huntingdon Court. 

‘ 9 th . — With Lloyd in carriage to Hereford. Put all 
my things out in Town Hall. Lectured in the Shire Hall 
on salmon and oysters. The Dean in the chair. Gave a 
stupid lecture ; much too anxious to do well, and spoke 
very much too quickly. 

£ 10 th . — To Brecon ; put things out for lecture, then 
tried for salmon in the brook by D ’s house ; got one 



1 GO 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCK LAND 



fine lien, but could not get a cock for her anywhere, a 
ver y great pity. Lectured at Brecon ; gave a splendid 
lecture, because I took my time. 

‘ 1 1th. — Up very early ; took pair-horse carriage to the 
farmhouse close to a tributary of the Usk ; put in the net, 
the current took it away in a moment ; missed two splendid 
fish. Then tried river near the ford ; got two fine cock 
fish, no hen. Then tried ford, and got one hen half spent, 
and another hen quite full. Back to Hereford by the 
5.30 train. 

c 12th. — By 9.45 train to Ross ; met 1.40 train ; Ponder 
there ; with him up to London. 

£ 13 th . — Man brought heading for “ Land and Water.” 
Meeting of Herne Bay Company. Took second lot of sal mon 
eggs down to South Kensington. Thus ended a most 
agreeable week, most pleasantly spent, in which I have 
given and received much instruction.’ 

‘ 18 th. — To church twice. Dick, the rat, stole away 
two five-pound notes from my drawers. 

‘ 19 th. — Finished packing up my things for Leeds, and 
away by the 12 train.’ 

£ 20th. — Walked about all the morniug, aud s-ot lots of 
information about oysters. Gave my lecture at the Philo- 
sophical Museum ; I am thankful to say it was a great 
success. Horsfall and another cross-examined me after 
the lecture. 

( 21st. — Packed up my things, and away to Halifax. 
Much pressed for time ; but, nevertheless, got lecture ready, 
and also sent back my proofs to London for “ Land and 
Water.” Gave a capital lecture for two hours, and much 
complimented by the chairman. 



• LAND AND WATER ’ 



161 



‘ 22nd . — Went on to Bradford ; nobody at the lecture- 
room to receive me 5 much disappointed at tins. "W rote 
more “ Land and Water.” At 8.30, gave the lecture pretty 
well I believe, but the exertion very great, my brain being 
quite worn out. 

£ 23rd. — Came liome by 5.30 express. Glad enough to 
o-et home after the tremendous hard week, and thankful 

O 

to God for my preservation of body and strength of mind 
to R'o through the matter.’ 

His experiences in collecting salmon ova at Brecon 
before his lecture are thus told : — 

‘ There are many serious difficulties to be overcome 
before the ova, either of trout or salmon, can be obtained, 
and they are not, as some folks would seem to think, to be 
picked up as easily as one can get hens’ eggs out of the 

t. 

nests in a farm-yard hen-roost. Salmon ova are, for 
obvious reasons, more difficult to obtain than trout ova. I 
will, therefore, now give some idea how I obtained my last 
batch ; for, it must be recollected, before you can get the 
eggs, you must catch the fish, and to do this requires both 
time and experience. 

‘ On looking out of the window of the hotel at early 
morning, I was horrified to find the ground thickly covered 
with snow, which was still falling heavily ; it was the day 
of the great snowstorm, that did so much injury to the 
telegraph wires all over the country. We shall not care 
so much for the snow, I thought to myself, but I fear the 
river will have swollen much in the night, and render it 
very difficult for us to manage the nets. I therefore at 
once went on to the bridge, and sure enough she — I like 
the idea so common in some places of calling the river she 

M 



1G2 



LIFE OF FRANK LUCK LAND 



— was coming clown in fine style. As I looked over the 
lower arch of the bridge, I saw the water rushing through 
the buttresses like a huge mass of solid window glass, such 
as we see sometimes at the manufactories, giving one the 
same sort of giddy feeling, that it is difficult to help ex- 
periencing, when the express runs at full speed by the 
narrow platform of an intermediate station. On going to 
the upper side of the bridge, I peeped gently over, and my 
eyes were gladdened at seeing in the bed of the river a 
huge mass of stones and gravel, about as much as would 
fill three or four railway wheelbarrows, turned up in the 
middle of the river ; this I knew at once to be a salmon's 
nest. Presently came sailing down stream sideways, re- 
minding me much of a cavalry horse going through the 
exercise of skoulders-in in the riding school, a fine old 
male" salmon, evidently, with his wife, the founder of this 
subaqueous edifice. The old fellow s coat was as red as a 
fox, and his great beak projected from his lower jaw, 
rendering him indeed a formidable opponent to any other 
salmon. On seeing me watching him from the bridge, he 
suddenly halted, winked his cunning eye at me, and was 
off in a moment, doubtless to warn his amiable spouse that 
there was something wrong, and that she had better keep 
out of the way for a few hours. Just then a man came 
down to the side of the stream, with a huge bundle of 
sheepskins on his back, and a stick with a cowhorn on the 
end. He at once began to wash the sheepskins in the 
river, twisting them about with his cowhorn-stick, an 
instrument most admirably adapted for the purpose. hx- 
perientia does it,” I thought, but I must have a word with 
the old man. On going close to the skins, I found they 



‘ LAND AND WATER’ 



163 



were the skins of Welsh sheep, and that the tails were 
left on. I immediately fell in love with one of the tails, 
made a bargain for it, cut it off the skin, and it was hauled 
out of the water. It really was a splendid bushy tail, and 
I hoped to have it mounted as a specimen of the “ local 
products ” of the place, and a rival to the yak’s tail in the 
South Kensington Museum. Alas! vain are the hopes of 
man ; my sheep’s tail has disappeared ; the servants at home 
know nothing about it ; and I find, to my sorrow, that my 
big Turkish wolf-dog, Arslan, like his master, fell in love 
with it, and has eaten it up, wool and all. 

‘ My water-dress put on, the nets and cans, &c. packed, 
we started in a carriage, with a pair of fast horses, for a 
brook, which we calculated would not be running so much 
water as the main river. Our theory was right ; but still 
there was too much water to render netting anything but 
very hard work. A pair of salmon had been marked 
down the day before ; so taking out the pole of the pole-net 
(reader, imagine an old-fashioned, bag-shaped night-cap, 
with a stick fastened on each side of it, and you have a 
pole-net), I attempted to cross the stream, at a spot below 
where the salmon were supposed to be, and, with great 
difficulty (on account of the huge stones and tremendous 
stream, about an inch over the waist), I got across, and 
then, sticking the iron-shod end of the pole into the 
bottom of the river, 1 got to the lower side of the pole, so 
as to resist the pressure with my shoulder, while one of the 
keepers held on to the pole on the other side of the bank. 
My friends and the keepers then went about eighty yards 
up the stream, and began to beat it down, and to throw 
a shower of stones into the rapid, foam-coloured brook. 



164 LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 

Almost instantly I perceived coming down stream, with the 
rapidity of a partridge’s flight as he tops a hedge, two 
huge bodies and two black fins at the surface of the water. 
“ Look out," cried my friend above, “ they are coming 
down.” It was with difficulty that I could hold the empty 
net against the stream, but when the two great fish came 
rushing on, all steam up, with a double-barrelled bang, 
bang, against the net, the whole apparatus was nearly 
jerked out of my hands. The instant the fish were in the 
net, I tried* to scramble across the brook to the other side, 
with the pole in my hand, so as to enclose the fish and 
catch them. A huge stone was in the way, and, being 
over-anxious, I stumbled, and the stream as nearly as 
possible had me down ; then, to add to my difficulties, 
just at that moment something ran between my legs, and 
nearly upset me altogether. “ Oh dear ! Oh dear ! ” I 
cried, “ one of the salmon is gone, but we have got the 
other, for I can feel it jerking in the net.” We hauled it 
quickly on shore, and my eyes were gladdened by the sight 
of a splendid hen salmon as full of eggs as could be, but 
remonstrating terribly in her way at the rude manner in 
which we were interfering with her domestic arrangements. 
I took her gently by the wrist, the thin part of a salmon's 
tail, and then let her down into the net I use for keeping 
fish alive, and went to work to catch her husband. We 
marked him down under a bank, but, when we came to try 
for him, he was gone, having crawled in, as it were, under 
the roots of an old pollard tree, from whence no amount of 
stirring with sticks or pelting with stones would make him 
budge an inch ; so Sir Salmon beat us after all. We then 
made three distinct pitches with the nets higher up the 



‘LAND AND WATER 



16 o 



stream. We caught two more salmon, but none suited for 
our purpose. It was getting dark, and we were all very wet 
and cold ; so we adjourned the meeting till the next day. 
I have heard it said that the salmon has a small brain, and 
is therefore a stupid thing ; for my own part, 1 think that 
though his brain is small, he can use it well. An angler, 
not long since, was fishing a stream in Ireland, and he cast 
his fly in a manner which did not meet with the appro- 
bation of the keeper, who repeatedly found fault with him. 
“ Well,” said the gentleman, “ what matter can it be to 
you ? 1 have leave to fish, and I shall fish as I like, and I 

shall throw my line in the manner that pleases me best.” 
“ So you may, your honour,” said the keeper; “ but you'll 
catch no fish. Bedad ! Does your honour think the fish 
have got no sense ? ” 

‘ Hf all disagreeable sensations, nothing comes up to 
the delights of having to ride in an open carriage some 
five or six miles, on a bitter cold day in January, with 
one s wet clothes on ; and if to this be added a ravenous 
appetite, and no commissariat forthcoming, the pleasures 
of salmon-egg collecting can be fully realised. 

‘ While lighting my pipe to rest a bit before further 
work, I said to my friend, “ Did you ever hear the yarn 
of the Yorkshire gamekeeper and the pike ? If not, here 
goes : — A keeper, strolling one day by the side of a stream, 
with his bull-terrier dog at his heels, came upon a man 
who was intently fishing for pike, one of which he had just 
landed, and which was then hopping about on the grass, 
not at all comfortable, in about as bad a humour as it is 
possible for even this surly fish to be. ( Hollo ! ’ says the 
keeper, putting on as simple an appearance as he could, 



1GG 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



and eying 1 the fish with a sort of curious gaze, 11 would that 
fish bite ? ’ ‘ Why, I don't know,’ said the angler, dili- 

gently plying away ; ‘ you can put your finger into his 
mouth and try him.’ ‘ Oh, no,’ says the keeper, drawing 
back ; ‘ but I’ll try my dog's tail if you don’t mind.’ ‘ Not 
at all, I shan’t feel it,’ was the reply. Accordingly the 
keeper, having caught his dog, put his tail in the pike’s 
mouth. No sooner did the pike feel the tail than he took 
hold, fixing his sharp teeth deeply into it. The dog imme- 
diately ran off at his hardest, singing ‘pen and ink,’ making 
liis way home as fast as his legs would carry him. At 
this the keeper laughed heartily; not so the angler, who 
sang out in his loudest voice, c Oh, I say, Mr. Keeper, call 
back your dog.’ ‘ Not I,’ says the keeper, walking away ; 
‘ you call back your pike.’ ” 

At Leeds, Halifax, and Bradford, Frank Buclcland en- 
deavoured by his lectures to impress on manufacturers the 
importance of fish culture, to enlist their sympathies, and 
induce them to concur in the precautions and legislation 
necessary to check the pollution of rivers by the waste 
products discharged from manufactories, a chief obstacle 
to the preservation and propagation of fish. 

£ Perhaps the most unfortunate thing in the world,’ 
he said in one of the lectures given during this journey, 
‘ is the salmon. Everybody and everything, from the 
otter to the fisherman, persecutes him. He is naturally 
an inhabitant of the sea. He runs up the rivers, and 
would almost jump into the pot on the kitchen fire if 
allowed, but every effort is put forth to keep him at a 
distance. He gets fat in the sea, though what his food is 
nobody cpiite knows. He is in the habit, however, of 



4 LAND AND WATER ’ 



167 



going up the rivers to his country quarters in the moun- 
tains, along with his wife and family. Then almost at the 
outset, he is caught by a seal lying in wait for him, as in 
the Tay, for instance. Then comes a net, then a weir, and 
next a steamer frightens him back ; then the refuse from 
towns forces him to choose between returning and being 
poisoned. The weirs across rivers are the main cause why 
our fisheries have fallen off ; yet all that is wanted is a fish- 
ladder, a series of steps or boxes extending up over the 
weir. If the salmon succeeds in leaping the weir, he next 
meets with an angler, who may however fail to hook him ; 
then on arriving at his proposed destination, he encounters 
the poacher, who tries to spear him with a trident. 
Escaping him, the salmon at last reach their breeding 
place, where Mistress Salmon begins stirring up the gravel 
with her tail, and making a hollow nest wherein to lay her 
eggs, of which the hard roe of the fish consists, a salmon 
carrying about 850 eggs for every pound weight. The 
trout then comes to eat the eggs ; next a whole swarm of 
flies and insects ; then the water-ouzel, who goes to eat 
the flies, is shot by ourselves, under the idea that the 
bird is after the eggs, and not after the flies. Other 
enemies come ; the jack, the otter who follows the little 
salmon on their way to the sea, where the angler-fish lies 
in wait for them. The result is that not one egg out of 
ten thousand ever becomes food for man.’ 

Wasteful destruction of young fish, by the ignorance 
or carelessness of fishermen, Frank Buckland also strove 
to check. 

A visit to a fishing weir in July 1866, and the destruc- 
tion of young fish there, he thus described : — - 



168 



LIFE OF FRANK RUCK LAND 



‘ At Hampton, near Herne Bay, there is a weir built 
out from the foreshore into the sea, and an old man, one 
Judy {queer e Judah) Downs, has the right of fishing it. 
Judy lives close by his weir, in the queerest house one ever 
saw ; it is built upon piles apparently of the jetsam and 
flotsam of the ocean, a compound of old boats, wrecks of 
ships, and tarred brown paper. It is on the very edge of 
the shore, and some stormy night, Judy, house and all, will 
most certainly disappear from the face of the earth. When 
at Hampton, on the business of the Herne Bay Oyster 
Fishery Company, I saw old Judy suddenly poke his head 
out of his house, like a rat out of his hole, and look at the 
weir. Seeing that the tide was nearly down, the old man 
came out, harnessed his pony to a carrying machine (a 
hybrid between a wheelbarrow and a costermonger’s cart), 
threw two buckets and a landing net into the cart, and 
trundled down the shingle. I was very soon after him to 
see the fun, and Judy was kind enough to do the honours. 
At each corner of the weir is a little private apartment, 
into which all the unfortunate fish, which happen to be 
inside the weir when the tide goes down, retire as a last- 
effort. Judy’s pony was outside the private apartment, and 
as I came up I heard a bobbing up and down, as the old 
man was thrashing away at some live fish under the water. 
I soon came up, and saw Judy was endeavouring to kill a 
“ curio ” which was floundering about in the weeds and mud. 
“ Don’t ye go and touch him, sir, he will sting ye, sir ; for 
he is a poison fish, he is.” This made me more anxious, and 
at last the “ poison fish ” was jerked out high and dry with 
a long stick, and Judy ran to the cart for a bill-hook. 



1 land and water ’ 



169 



“ What are you up to now, Judy ? ” “ Up to, sir ; why, chop 
his tail oft', to be sure, his poison lies in his tail. u Stop ! 
you will spoil the curio,” I shouted. “ I will buy him of 
you if you leave his tail on ; but I won’t have him if you 
cut it off.” So I watched the poison fish, and soon saw that 
it was a fine specimen of the 1 sting-ray ’ (Raid jpastinaca) . 
The fellow is not unlike a common skate, except that he 
has a brown, slimy, chocolate-coloured skin, and a long tail 
that tapers to a point like a driving whip. About two- 
thirds of the way down this tail are situated two long sharp- 
pointed spines, one above the other. They are shaped 
exactly like an old Roman sword, and their edges are jagged 
into numerous fine needle-shaped teeth, placed one above 
the other, and most terrible weapons of offence and defence 
they are. The sting-ray knew their power, for whenever 
he was touched, snap round came his tail towards the in- 
truding object, as quick as a whip lash round a gig-shaft. 
I put my capture into a nice muddy place, where he could 
lash away with his tail as much as he liked, and die at his 
leisure. He did not take things quietly at all, but every now 
and then tried to raise himself up on his great wing-like 
fins, and at the same time uttered the most extraordinary 
groan-like noises, like a man with a very bad toothache. 
When dead I had a good look at his face. It is like that 
of a very hideous baby in the act of perpetual crying. His 
teeth are very small, as though nature had taken out the 
two largest teeth from his mouth and stuck them into his 
tail. My friend has since been immortalised in plaster-of- 
paris. 

‘ Having done with the sting-ray, I returned to Judy, 



170 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



who was scraping the fish up in his landing net, and 
filling liis buckets with a wriggling mass. The chief of his 
capture of slimy fish and eels were what he called “ gore- 
bills,” that is those curious long-beaked, green -col cured fish 
known also as “ gar-pike.” The poor gore-bills were in a 
desperate state of alarm as Judy gathered them up in his 
net ; they were only young gore-bills, about six inches 
long, but I afterwards bought an old gore-bill which mea- 
sured twenty-seven inches long. I immediately stripped 
off all his flesh and made him quite a skeleton to show his 
bones, which are of a bright green colour — the green, in 
fact, of verdigris on an old copper ship ; why nature should 
give these fish green bones, skull and all, I know not, 
but it is a fact. The fish, moreover, are not poisonous, for 
I ate half a dozen of them for supper, and felt all the 
better for it. 

£ As the tide left the weir, I saw a sight that made mv 
piscicultural heart sad, viz., the destruction of such large 
quantities of young fry. In the first place, the lower part 
of the weir was quite silvered with — think, think of it, ye 
epicures ! with whitebait, pretty silver and green, large- 
eyed whitebait, flapping their little innocent tails in the 
mud, gasping for water, breathing only the fatal air. 
These are veritable whitebait, the “ smig ” of the Thames 
whitebait fishermen, and the young of — well, we want a dis- 
cussion — Clupea alba, the old whitebait. “ Judy, what do 
vou do with these whitebait ? ” said I. “ Oh ! I takes no 
notice of them things,” was the answer. £ “ I picks em up 
and puts ’em into a pickle bottle, they are capital bait for 
eels. See here, sir : this eel is ready to bust with them ; 
eels like whitebait, sir. ' u So do others besides eels, 



‘LAND AND WATER’ 



171 



thought I. May not the origin of the word whitebait be 
thus accounted for? The fish are white, and they are 
used for bait. 

1 cc Bo you catch many of these little fish, Judj/ ? 

‘ “ Bless ’e, sir, there is bucketfuls sometimes in the weir, 
and I just let’s ’em lay.” u Say no more, Judy, I beg, my 
feelings will not bear it. But what is all that mass ot live 
things in the corner ? ” “ Oh ! them’s a lot of little things, 
they ain’t no good. So I shovelled up half a bucketful ot 
them just as they came, and sorted them out. Here is 
the catalogue. 

‘ Imprimis , Several little soles, the largest about three 
inches long. 2nd. Many hundreds of little flounders 
and plaice, from the size of a shilling upwards. 3rd. 
Among the whitebait were considerable numbers of a 
little fish, which when alive is transparent : these little 
transparent fish form a great part of the whitebait put on 
our tables : the Avhitebait fishermen call them c R'ooshans,’ 
because they first appeared in the nets at the time of 
the Russian war : they are the young of the weaver or 
adder fish, the fish that has three sharp spines on his back, 
which he can erect at will ; they are not uncommon on 
sandy shores, and inflict severe wounds on the feet of 
bathers, who tread on them when buried in the sand, as 
is the habit of this fish. 4th. I found the common sand eel 
( Ammochjtes ) and its young just hatched out. 5th. Several 
tiny thread-like, sharp-billed, jelly-like, long-billed bodies, 
which are baby “ gore-bills.” 6th. Curious eel-like fish, 
with an ugly, pert-looking head, and frill down the back 
(like the frill to an old beau’s dining-out shirt), and a spotted 
and exceedingly slimy body; their local name is “slippers” 



172 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCK LAND 



because they slip from the hand so easily. Lastly, we have 
many specimens of various curious, ugly-looking small 
lish, and their young, like miller’s thumbs. Here, for 
once, I agree with Judy that this fish, at all events, “ ain’t 
of no account.” 

‘ The destruction weirs of this kind must do, if greatly 
multiplied along the mouths of rivers, must be very great. 
Judy’s weir catches, as we have seen, the young of no less 
than seven kinds of fish. There are, however, no other 
weirs near Judy’s, and very little trawling outside ; so 
that, after all, the weir, in this instance at least, may be 
practically as harmless as Judy himself, though the old 
man did bring an action against the Herne Bay Company 
for taking away shingle from the foreshore opposite his 
mansion— -a regular centaur among dwellings — half-boat, 
half-house.’ 

In this year and henceforward, Frank Buckland la- 
boured hard at fish-casting. 

‘ March 6. — Cast the enormous salmon of 70 lbs. weight ; 
began at 6.30 and left off at 12.10 in the morning.’ 

‘June 7. — Cast the big carp; sat up to 12.15 to 
do it. 

1 8th . — Began to work at the casting at 8, and left oft’ 
at 8.45 P.M. Finished the big carp, and weighed the roe ; 
it was 3^- lbs.’ 

In like manner, remarkable specimens of jack, porpoise, 
shark, sturgeon, maigre, and other fish, were cast with 
immense labour and pains, and placed in his museum. 

His large fish nursery at South Kensington was also 
a constant care, and this year met with misadventures. 

‘ April 25— Water cut off from the fish at the Horti- 



‘LAND AND WATER’ 



173 



cultural Gardens. Neville called me up at 12.30; at the 
Gardens till 4.15 following morning, but saved many fish.’ 

France was ahead of England in pisciculture, and, in 
August of this year, two fishery exhibitions were held in 
France, at Arcachon and at Boulogne. To each of these 
Frank Buckland sent exhibits ; models of fish-passes, and 
other apparatus, and a series of specimens of various kinds 
of oysters, and he received from each exhibition a silver 
medal. 

At Boulogne he was nominated one of the judges, and 
wrote thence the following account of the opening pro- 
ceedings : — 

1 Boulogne has good reason to be proud of herself. 
Not only is she a most agreeable watering-place for 
loungers, both French and English, but she is the principal 
sea-fishing port of northern France. 

‘ She has now added fresh laurels to her crown, by 
this exhibition, which promises so well that entire success 
seems already to be secured. 

‘ The science of fish-culture, up to almost the present 
time but feebly supported in England, has been taken 
up by our neighbours in France in a manner which, 
speaking as an Englishman, makes me feel quite ashamed 
of my country. 

‘With all her salmon fisheries, her oyster fisheries, 
and her deep-sea fisheries, England seems behindhand in 
bringing her information to a focus, and forming a high 
’Change at which ideas and practical information may be 
interchanged with other nations and with the fishers of 
the United Kingdom on the all-important subject of fish- 
culture. 



174 



LIFE OF FRANK LUCK LA NO 



‘ filings are different on the Continent. Amsterdam 
led the way, and Bergen followed in shewing to the 
world that aquiculture was worthy of a place in the school 
of practical sciences, by the side of her elder sister agri- 
culture. France, with a quickness and foresight which 
does her credit, seized the idea, and two exhibitions of 
aquiculture are actually at this moment open in France, 
one at Arcachon, almost on the borders of Spain ; the 
other at Boulogne, only four hours from Charing Cross. 

‘ Having received an invitation from the authorities of 
the Boulogne Exhibition to act in an official capacity at 
this international undertaking, and to co-operate with the 
committee, I gladly availed myself of the opportunity of 
forwarding the good cause. . . 

£ We were informed that the assembly would take 
place at the Prefecture, in full evening dress. If there is 
anything that an Englishman abominates, it is a black 
“claw-hammer” coat (as the Yankees call it) and a 
white neckcloth at noonday ; but we were obliged to 
submit. The reception was a grand affair ; the company 
assembled in a grand salon, reminding one much of an 
Fnglish levee. The civil uniforms of the town and country 
authorities contrasted well with those of the officers of the 
regiments of chasseurs, quartered in the town, headed by 
the commanding officer of the garrison of Boulogne, a fine 
old soldier, whose medal-covered breast showed that he 
had indeed seen long and active service in his country’s 
cause. Besides these, were present some cavalry and en- 
gineer officers, and the officers of the two French men-of- 
war, the “ Cuvier ” and the “ Bison,” which had come to 
Boulogne to assist at the Exhibition. The “ Cuvier ” is, I 



‘LAND AND WATER ’ 



175 



believe, employed in guarding- the French fisheries. It is 
a pretty idea to call her by the name of the great French 
naturalist. When will the day arrive that our Admiralty 
will pay a similar compliment to Fngiish science, and 
launch the “ Professor Owen ” gunboat from the slips at 
Portsmouth ? 

‘ The prebendaries of the cathedral church of the town 
were also represented. 

£ The procession through the streets was intended to 
have been most imposing ; but no sooner were we clear of 
the hall-door than it began to rain steadily, and with a 
real English determination, as though the clerk of the 
weather had not been invited, and showed that he in- 
tended to put a damper on the proceedings. 

‘ The procession immediately broke up like a flock of 
wild ducks suddenly scared by a gun-shot. We sounded 
a trot, and at length arrived at the Exhibition building 
with our “ claw-hammers ” thoroughly saturated with rain 
and our white ties starchless. A canopy had been pro- 
vided outside the building, and from a rostrum the prefect 
was to have publicly delivered his address. No sooner, 
however, was he seated in a wet chair than down came 
the rain, and also certain uninvited guests, for the winds, 
jealous of their influence on the fisheries being ignored, 
put in an appearance in force : — 

Venti velut agrnine facto 
Qua data porta ruunt, et terras turbine perflant. 

Incubuere mari totumque a sedibus imis 

Una Eurusque Notusque ruunt creberque procellis 

Africus, et vastos volvunt ad littora fluctus. 

JEneid . I. 

‘ The winds fairly beat off the prefect and the com- 



17G 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



mission from the platform, and the meeting was adjourned 
inside the building. 

£ The speeches ended, a procession of the wives of the 
Boulogne fishermen, who sell in the market the produce of 
their husbands’ toil at sea, entered the hall. They were 
all dressed in their well-known and picturesque costume — 
white caps, red petticoats, lace lappets, embroidered shawls, 
and enormous gold earrings. “ La belle Caroline ” — the 
Belle of Boulogne some fifty years since, now the matron 
among the fishermen’s wives — presented the prefect with 
a magnificent bouquet of flowers, and delivered an address, 
which the dear old lady spoke out without hesitation, and 
with the least possible indication of nervousness. 

£ At a given signal there came a sudden crash of music, 
and the Orpheon Musical Society sang a “ Cantata ” in 
honour of this important event in the annals of their 
native town. The prefect then again came forward and 
declared the Exhibition open. 

£ The ceremonies over, I was truly glad to rush to the 
hotel and resume my ordinary day costume. Having been 
hard at work, in my shirt sleeves, arranging my specimens, 
this was the first moment I had to examine the Exhibition 
and its contents. 

£ Extending the whole length of the roof of the hall, 
was a gigantic net, the dimensions of the meshes of which 
were eight inches from knot to knot. One end of the net 
was formed with a series of hoops, one behind the other, 
the largest being about ten feet in diameter. From these 
hoops extended, as it were, wings, each wing measuring 
ninety Danish ells, or sixty yards English, dhis net was, 
as the Danish representative informed me, for the capture 



‘LAND AND WATER’ 



177 



of “ saal liunde ” or “ seal clog's.” I understand that the 
net is quietly dragged up to the mouth of the cave, where 
the seals are, and a pistol being suddenly fired, the seals 
rush out and are captured. If ever there was a net made 
which would catch Pontoppidan’s sea-snake (the Scoliophis 
atlanticus of the Americans), this is the one. We must 
not yet, therefore, despair of sending Professor Owen a 
slice for his dinner, and a skeleton for the British Museum. 
That this net is of practical use is evident, as it has at 
once been bought for the use of northern seal fisheries.’ 

In September, Frank Buckland again brought before 
the British Association, at Nottingham, a paper on the 
culture of a salmon river, and also a report on oyster 
culture, ‘ which met with great success.’ 

In the same month, a public meeting was held at 
Maidstone, to consider the adoption of measures for stock- 
ing the Medway with salmon and other fish, when he care- 
fully examined the Medway, with a view to advise on the 
steps to be taken. ‘ This,’ he notes, c is the first inspec- 
tion I ever made.’ 

The following extracts from the private note-book of 
1865 and 1866 show the simple-hearted, quaint, yet earnest 
way in which he now regarded his success and prospects 
in life : — 

c I really cannot help thinking, that the Almighty God 
has given me great powers, both of thought and of ex- 
pressing these thoughts. Thanks to Him, but I must 
cultivate my mind by diligent study, careful reflection in 
private, and intense and quick observation of facts out of 
doors, combined with quick appreciation of ideas of others. 
In fact, strive to become a master mind, and thus able to 

N 



178 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



influence others of weaker minds, whose shortcomings I 
must forgive. 

‘ I am like a ship at sea ; my instructions are to do 
good and earn a livelihood. I must carry on board a 
cargo of information, with a sound ballast of truth, so that 
when a sudden breeze strikes the sail, and throws the ship 
on her side, the ballast will right her. There are so many 
waves — stormy, cold, white-faced waves of opposition — un- 
kindness, and unconcern to encounter, that one need have 
good timbers. 

{ Why should not I imitate the example of that great 
and illustrious man, to whom I owe so much of my 
education, and especially “ manners makyth man,” and 
endeavour to do as much public good as possible in my 
humble way ? I will therefore begin next week, and put 
up a storm barometer, for the use of the fishermen at 
Herne Bay. William of Wykeham had large funds, I have 
small ; but I can do good in my humble way. (I erected 
this August 1865. It is still up, 1870.) 

‘ March, 1866. — I now am working from 8 A.M to 6 P.M. 
and then a bit in the evening — fourteen hours a day ; but, 
thank God, it does not hurt me. I should, however, collapse 
if it were not for Sunday. The machinery has time to get 
cool, the mill-wheel ceases to patter the water, the mill- 
head is ponded up, and the superfluous water let off by an 
easy quiet current, which leads to things above. 

‘ December 16, 1866. — To-morrow is my birthday, and 
I shall be forty years old. I have much to be thankful 
for to the Almighty. I have good health and a mind 
gradually improving and consolidating. I have been 
through much ; but, thanks be to God, I have preserved a 



‘LAND AND WATER’ 



179 



straight course to the best of my abilities, and though I 
see others taking short cuts, I think honest dealing and 
true is the safest ballast to keep the ship in trim, through 
the sea of difficulties and dangers. If I have health and 
strength, I shall persevere in this course. 

‘ The ship is still in good order, ballast not shifted, and 
the blocks run well; for all this I am most grateful to 
God, without whose assistance I could do nothing. From 
Him, of course, all, I know, proceeds ; I trust He will 
continue to pour down His mercies, and I will do my 
best to fight His cause for Him, and to do my duty to my 
fellow-creatures.’ 1 Laus Domino .' 1 



180 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



CHAPTER IX. 

INSPECTOR OF FISHERIES: 1867. 

Before 1860, the sea and river fisheries of England 
and Wales were little cared for. The old Fishery Acts, 
which, from Magna Charta downwards, forbade the ob- 
struction of rivers by weirs, and the destruction of fish 
by means impolitic and unlawful, had become practically 
obsolete. At the river’s mouth, and on the higher banks, 
men strove to take every fish which entered the river, with 
little forethought for the preservation of the fishery ; while 
mills and mines, multiplying with the increase of trade, 
stretched weirs across rivers, barring the salmon from the 
higher waters, where lie the spawning -beds, or poured 
poisonous refuse intp the stream and killed the fish. 

In 1860, the decline of the English salmon fisheries 
had become so notorious, that a Royal Commission was 
appointed to enquire into its cause, and devise a remedy. 

In Scotland, the rights of great landowners, aided by 
local statutes, had preserved salmon fisheries to the value 
of 300,000Z. a year. 

In Ireland, the exhaustion of the fisheries had already 
led to Acts being passed in 1842, 1848, and 1850, under 
which these fisheries were reviving. 



INSPECTOR OF FISHERIES 



181 



The success of this legislation, though partial, enforced 
by numerous petitions to 1 arlianient, led to the appoint- 
ment of the Commission of 1860. 

The Commissioners reported in 1861, that the con- 
siderable diminution of salmon in the rivers of England 
and Wales was fully substantiated. In some rivers the 
fact was patent and notorious. Salmon formerly abounded, 
but had almost or altogether ceased to exist. The 
instances of extinction were but few, diminution, in a 
greater or less degree, existed in every river visited. In 
some rivers the supply of fish was not more than one in 
ten, one in twenty, or even one in one hundred, compared 
with what fishermen could recollect. Weirs, fixed nets 
and fish-traps, insufficient close time, pollutions, destruc- 
tion of unseasonable or of immature fish, the want of 
an organised system of protection, and confusion and 
uncertainty of the law, were the chief causes of the 
decrease of the salmon fishery. 

For remedy, the report, supported by copious evidence, 
recommended the appointment of permanent Inspectors, 
aided by local Boards of Conservators ; and also advised 
a more uniform annual close time, the establishment of 
a weekly close time during the fishing season, allowing 
the passage of fish to the breeding-grounds, and the regu- 
lation or suppression of fixed nets and other injurious 
modes of fishing. 

The Salmon Fisheries Act of 1861 followed, which 
authorised the appointment of two Inspectors of Fisheries 
for England and Wales, and carried out, generally, the 
recommendations of the Commissioners 

Mr. William J. Ffennell and Mr. Frederick Eden 



182 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



were appointed the first Inspectors. Mr. Ffennell was one 
of the Commissioners on whose report the Act of 1801 
was passed. He brought to his new office a practical 
experience of many years, acquired as Inspector of the 
Irish Fisheries. Their common tastes had already made 
him a fast friend of Frank Bucldand, who many times 
accompanied him on his official inspections, both in Ireland 
and in England. 

The Act of 1861, notwithstanding some defects, was 
received with general favour, and in 1864, the Inspectors 
reported, that the manifest increase of fish, within so short 
a period, was greater in many waters than the most 
sanguine had anticipated. 

Associations for the protection of salmon in the upper 
waters, which had languished so long as the increased 
number of fish fell into the toils of fixed nets, unchecked 
at the river’s mouth, were now reviving, and the weekly 
close time enforced by the Act was more than compensated 
by the greater abundance of fish which it produced. 

An amendment Act, in 1865, appointed Commissioners 
to ascertain what fixed nets and traps should be sanctioned, 
and authorised the division of the country into Fishery 
Districts, with Boards of Conservators empowered to impose 
and administer licence duties. 

In 1866 Mr. Eden resigned, and in February 1867 the 
appointment of Inspector of Fisheries was conferred on 
Frank Bucldand. The candidates were numerous, but 
none will question the wisdom and justice of the choice, for 
which natural genius and enthusiastic devotion to piscicul- 
ture alike marked him out. 

To himself the appointment was, as his Diary shows, 



INSPECTOR OF FISHERIES 



183 



tli© realisation of tlie wish of his life, and a subject ol 
unaffected delight. 

‘ Wednesday , February 6— This day I was appointed 
Inspector of Fisheries. I had been invited to dine at the 
Piscatorial Society in St. James’s Hall, and was sitting on 
the left hand of the chairman (Mr. Sachs), when John 
brou edit me in a letter as follows “ Home Office, February 

D 

6,1867. Sir, — Mr. Walpole has desired me to inform you that 
he has much pleasure in appointing you Inspector of Salmon 
Fisheries in accordance with your wishes. I am &c., S. 
Walpole.” — When I read this I felt a most peculiar 
feeling, not joy, nor grief, but a pleasurable stunning 
sensation, if there can be such a thing. The first tiling 
I did was to utter a prayer of thanksgiving to Him who 
really appointed me, and who has thus placed me in a 
position to look after, and care for, His wonderful works. 
May He give me strength to do my duty in my new 
calling ! I said not a word to anybody, but in a few 
minutes I had to make a speech, to propose the health of 
the prize-givers. I alluded first to the cultivation of the 
waters, and then to my excellent father’s endeavours to do 
good, saying it was my wish to honour his name, and do my 
own duty in my generation. I then read out the letter, 
which was received with great applause. Thus, then, I 
have gained the object of my life. Surely fortune favours me 
with great luck ; and I am very thankful for it. When I 
got home I found the house in a state of uproar ; all the 
servants, the monkeys, Danny the little dog, the parrot, and 
the cat, with paper favours on; M. and L. were also here with 
favours on, and all much delighted at my appointment.’ 

His new duties were entered upon with characteristic 



184 



LIFE OF FRANK EUCKLAND 



energy, yet without relaxation of literary and other work, 
and care for his museum. 

On February 12, he went to the Fishery Office for the 
first time. c Wrote a great lot of letters, used up all the old 
man’s papers, and knocked out the bottom of his inkstand. 
He seemed astonished at the number of the letters. 
Made cast of the big 38 lb. fish sent me by Quelch, who 
came in to. see him cast; began at 9, finished at 1. 

‘ loth . — To the Fishery Office, and stayed till 4. 

‘ 14 th . — “ Land and Water” Dinner ; Mr. Coxe in the 
chair. All went off well ; thankful I was in excellent 
humour for it, surrounded by many excellent aud kind 
friends ; I thank God for it. Englishmen as well as 
Persians worship the rising sun. Set up paper, then to 
the Office ; gave an opinion about Fishery districts ; came 
back by 4, and wrote some forty letters.’ 

On February 18, he made his first official inspection 
on the river Exe, naturally a fine salmon river, and in the 
reign of Queen Elizabeth 1 fluvius piscosissimus,’ but for many 
years almost barren. In seven days he examined the 
river throughout, noting each of the eight weirs which had 
ruined the fishery, watching and enquiring as to the habits 
of the salmon, the points where they assembled below the 
weirs, and their struggles to gain the higher waters ; and 
contriving the best mode of enabling the fish to surmount 
these barriers. This was but the beginning of labour; to 
get his suggestions adopted throughout the river took years. 

In 1869, he endeavoured, by a field lecture to the 
Naturalists’ Club of Exeter, to urge on the cultivation of 
the Exe, passing from weir to weir, and discoursing on the 
difficulties of the salmon. A grant in aid of the salmon 



INSPECTOR OF FISHERIES 



185 



ladders, from the Town Council of Exeter, followed. Several 
years later, the fisli-passes were still only in couise ol 
construction 5 hut in 1875, the fishery had considerably 
improved, and about three thousand salmon were taken. 

On March 12, 1867, Mr. Ffennell died, and Mr. Spencer 
Walpole was appointed Inspector of Fisheries in his place. 
In July 1867, the new Inspectors made their first annual 
reports. 

Frank Buckland’s annual reports to the Home Office, 
commencing this year, and continued to the end of his life, 
contain a vast amount of varied scientific and practical 
information, relating to the river and sea fisheries of 
Great Britain. 

They form not only a record of indefatigable work, but 
a storehouse of facts, and experience, and practical sugges- 
tions, stowed away in the uninviting and little accessible 
form of blue books. 

Some extracts from them may illustrate his work as 
Inspector of Fisheries. 

The salmon was his chief care, whose strange migratory 
habits distinguish it from other fish, and require special 
provision. Most fish live either in fresh or in salt water, 
the salmon inhabits both. Bred in the higher waters of our 
rivers, the young salmon of one, two, or three years’ growth, 
make their way down to the sea as smolts, and return 
thence, impelled by the instinct of reproduction, to seek 
the gravelly spawning beds in the mountain streams. In 
early spring, and through the summer and autumn months, 
they come from the sea, bright coated and silvery, and 
swim and leap and struggle up the rivers ; then is the 
fisherman’s harvest. In winter the spawning time comes 



186 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



on, when the laws of nature and of man alike forbid their 
capture, for the fish, at other times so rich a luxury, are 
now vapid and unwholesome. Lean and flabby after the 
breeding time, the males with hooked beaks and scarred in 
fighting, the spawned fish or kelts, rush down again to the 
sea; whence after awhile they return, fresh and silvery, 
fattened to twice their former weight, and re-enter the 
rivers as fresh run fish, the joy alike of the fisherman and 
the epicure. Whither they go in the sea, how long they 
stay, what they fatten on, are questions still unsolved, 
since trawlers and sea fishermen do not meet with them, 
and, from the time they escape from the river till they 
re-enter the estuary, their dwelling place and habits are 
unknown. 

It is believed that the instinct of the salmon leads 
it back to the place where it was bred ; ‘ and I hope it is 
true,’ Frank Buckland used to say, ‘ for many thousands 
have been hatched out in my kitchen.’ 

These singular habits of the salmon make the produc- 
tiveness of each fishery dependent upon free passage being 
preserved for the fish from the sea to the higher streams, 
and upon such due regulation of the fishing as may allow 
a fair proportion of the fish to reach the breeding grounds, 
and prevent their total extermination on the way thither. 
To these ends the provisions of the Fishery Acts and the 
care of the Inspectors were directed. 

In his first report Frank Buckland summed up the 
results of the previous six years’ working of the Act. In 
twenty-four rivers a great and marked improvement had 
already taken place. In eleven rivers there was a gradual 
improvement ; in seven, little or no improvement ; and in 



INSPECTOR OF FISHERIES 



187 



five others sufficient time had not yet elapsed, since the 
Act had been put in force, to give definite results. 

« So far then,’ he continues, ‘the upward course in the 
development of the English salmon fisheries is most satis- 
factory, and cannot fail to be a source of congratulation to 
all interested in the subject. In order to gain further im- 
provement, I now propose to consider the causes of failure, 
causes which apply equally to all rivers, and upon which 
all future salmon cultivation and legislation must depend. 
The problem before us is to cultivate the largest quantity 
of salmon in a given area. Nature has ordained laws 
which regulate the habits of this most nutritious and 
valuable of migratory fish. In order that salmon should 
multiply its species, three things are absolutely neces- 
sary. First, suitable breeding grounds ; secondly, suit- 
able feeding grounds ; and thirdly, a free and uninterrupted 
passage from the sources of the rivers to the sea. Were 
all these conditions combined, without let or hindrance, 
and the enemies of the salmon at the same time kept in 
check, there might hardly be any limit to the number of 
fish available for human food. 

‘ In the first place, salmon must have pure water. They 
cannot exist in poisoned streams, any more than human 
beings can exist in an atmosphere of carbonic acid gas. 
The attention of the salmon cultivator should be, therefore, 
before all things, directed to the state of the water in 
which his fish have to live and be reproduced. There are 
five rivers in the happy condition of having no pollution, 
viz. the Otter, the Ribble, the Lune, the Glaslyn and the 
Conway. On the contrary, other rivers are affected by 
pollutions, as follows : — By gas, five ; by paper, six • by 



188 



LIFE OF FLANK BUCKLAND 



lead, six; by mines, five; by coal-dust, three; by sewage, 
three ; by tan, three ; by oil and alkali, two ; by wool, 
two ; by dye, two ; by carpets, chemicals, &c., three. ' 

‘ Water is as indispensable to the human being as it is 
to the fish. Impure and polluted water will encourage 
disease, especially cholera ; pure water will disarm disease 
of its power, and at the same time be available for grow- 
ing excellent human food, in the form of salmon and 
other fish. Thus, then, it will be seen that the question 
of pollution of rivers affects not only the salmon, but 
every individual among us ; and the question assumes a 
far greater public importance, than if it were applied to 
salmon alone. 

‘ After pollutions, the most important question is that 
of allowing the adult fish to reach the spawning beds, 
wherein to make its nest, at the sources of the rivers ; and 
to secure a free and uninterrupted return to the sea 
for the infant salmon, as well as for its parents. This 
naturally leads to the question of obstructions, both natural 
and artificial. I grieve to say, that our rivers report ob- 
structions formidable in number and formidable in con- 
struction. Thus, Severn and her tributaries report seventy- 
three weirs ; Derwent reports eight ; Taw and Torridge 
seventy (forty miles of beautiful spawning ground blocked 
out !) ; Dee reports five on the main river, and many on 
the tributaries ; Wharfe, fifteen ; Ouse, two ; Ure, four ; 
Nidd, eight ; Swale, six ; in fact, most rivers report ob- 
structions more or less, and but few report no obstructions. 

‘ The interest of the millers, the navigation proprietors, 
and others for whose benefit these obstructions (as we 
friends of the salmon choose to call them) have been 



INSPECTOR OF FISHERIES 



189 



built, certainly should be considered, as well as the interest 
of the fisheries. A river serves two purposes ; it may, 
firstly, be made to work milling power 5 and secondly, it 
may be made to produce fish. In many instances, at the 
present moment, these two objects are incompatible. I do 
not see that they are really so ; and feel convinced, that if 
conservators use their ingenuity, and co-operate with the 
owners of weirs, mills, &c., both objects may be gained, 
particularly if a friendly spirit be brought to bear upon 
the question.’ 

To give passage to the salmon without injury to the 
miller or his weir, many salmon-ladders had been erected. 
A sloping trough with frequent bars across gave the prin- 
ciple of a water-ladder, moderating the flow of water, and 
forming a series of pools from one to another of which 
the salmon could swim or leap, and so pass over the 
weir. But many fish-ladders had proved useless, since 
varying weirs required different forms of fish-pass. 

Frank Buckland, in his first report, gave general rules 
for their construction ; pointing out especially that they 
must be adapted to the habits of the salmon, and should 
therefore start from that part of the pool beneath the weir 
where the salmon are found to congregate. They should 
have a slope six or eight feet in length for every perpendi- 
cular foot of fall, and be protected at the top by a V- 
shaped board from any undue rush of water which might 
throw down the fish into the pool below. 

‘ The third item necessary for the well-being of a river ’ 
he continued, ‘ is the protection of the parent salmon 
when engaged in the duties of spawning, and that they 
should be allowed a free and unobstructed ascent from, and 



190 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



descent to the sea, at all seasons of the year. When at 
the nest, if the parent salmon be destroyed by a poacher, 
one fell blow will annihilate many thousand fish in the 
form of eggs.’ 

The report also pointed out the wastefulness of the 
capture of spawned fish or kelts when unfit for food ; as an 
example of which he placed in his museum the cast of a 
kelt found dead in a pool, that measured 39 inches, and 
weighed 10 lbs. 2 oz. ; with another cast of a fresh run 
fish of exactly the same length, which was found to weigh 
20 lbs., or almost double that of the kelt. 

In June 1866 he had taken part in a congress, held in 
London, under the presidency of Lord Percy, of conser- 
vators and others interested in salmon-fishery questions, at 
which a considerable number of working models and plans 

t 

of salmon-ladders were submitted, the details of which are 
discussed in the same report, with this practical conclusion : 
1 1 would remind conservators that, in all cases where it is 
possible, they should use their ingenuity in trying inex- 
pensive experiments, utilising as far as possible the avail- 
able and cheap material of the country, in order to get 
principles upon which the permanent structure may after- 
wards be erected ; and I shall only be too pleased to 
assist this idea in any way in my power, either mentally 
or bodily, for it is a painful thing to find that after an 
expensive ladder has been built it will not act. We must 
not, however, forget that the ultimate verdict of whether a 
salmon-ladder be good or bad must be left to the decision of 
the salmon themselves ; all we can do is to find out what they 
want, and accommodate them to the utmost of our powers.’ 

Before the next annual report, he had personally 



INSPECTOR OF FISHERIES 



191 



examined twenty-six salmon rivers, with the like care 
he had bestowed on the Exe. Of one of these rivers, 
he says : ‘ The Canterbury Stour is now under cultiva- 
tion; in the commencement of 18G6, I gave a public 
lecture in the city of Canterbury, on the cultivation 
of salmon rivers : at this lecture most of the influential 
gentlemen of the neighbourhood were present, and I 
think I can fairly say, without boasting, that this lecture 
was the commencement of the formation of the Stour 
into a fishery district.’ 

This river was strongly fortified against the incursions 
of salmon. An outwork of stake-nets stretched into the 
estuary. Higher up, at Fordwich, a grating was thrown 
right across the river with a trap net in the middle. 
Above, two mill weirs formed impassable ramparts ; other 
mills and weirs barred the higher waters. 

The stake-nets were put under supervision, the grating 
was abolished, a fish-pass was erected at the first weir, at a 
cost of over 50 1., on what was then known as the Govern- 
ment principle ; but it proved defective in action ; the fish 
met in conclave at the bottom and gave their verdict against 
it. The defective mechanism of the ladder was under an 
archway, and could not be seen without descending into 
the ladder, and crawling down the arch. This, to Frank 
Buckland, was a labour of love ; his sympathy with the 
salmon soon discovered and cured the defect, and then, at 
a cost of but 15 1., he placed a cheap and simple ladder 
over the upper weir, which the fish fearlessly swam up, as 
if they knew it was planned by their best friend. 

The artificial hatching of salmon and trout was also 
introduced in the Stour; but while the trout increased 



192 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



considerably, the number of salmon lias been checked by 
the pollution of the river from the sewage of Canterbury. 

A similar cause prevented the success of his endeavours 
to re-introduce salmon into the Thames, where they were 
once plentiful. Many thousand young salmon were reared 
at Hampton, and turned into the Thames ; but owing pro- 
bably to the impurity of the water, and its disturbance by 
steamers and ships, only one or two salmon have been 
taken in the Thames in recent times. 

‘ The difficulty of dealing with weirs,’ he wrote in 
1868, ‘seems to resolve itself into a question of bread v. 
salmon. Many of the mills are corn mills ; the public 
require bread ; the miller’s business therefore becomes 
important, and in one sense even more important than 
salmon. For my own part, I conceive that (failing com- 
pulsory legislation) if a system of “ give and take ” be 
established, the public will have their usual amount of 
bread from the mills, and an increased supply of salmon 
from the rivers ; the property of the miller will not be 
interfered with, and the property of the fishery proprietor 
will be more fully developed. This is to be done by 
arranging that the salmon shall have the use of the water 
when the mill is not at work, i.e., let the miller utilise the 
water during the day, but allow the salmon to utilise it 
during the night. The miller will then have the use of the 
water, for his own interests, during six days, and the fish 
during six nights ; the mill does not work on Sundays ; on 
that day, therefore, the water should be given up for the use 
of the fish. 1 do not wish that the weirs should be de- 
stroyed ; I wish only that a free passage over them, by means 
of an effective ladder or pass, should be made compulsory.’ 



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193 



The Act had dealt with fixed engines, and with the 
close time, but gave no compulsory powers to alter weirs 
or place fisli-passes over them. These the inspectors could 
advise and recommend, but had no power to enforce. But 
Frank Buckland’s enthusiasm was singularly infectious, and 
there is an innate love of sport in most Britons ; so he 
visited the landowners, chatted with the millers, and 
smoked with the fishermen, for high and low were alike 
his friends if they loved nature, and especially salmon, till 
he bound them together with the common purpose to 
preserve and multiply the objects of his care : and thus 
fish-passes were by degrees laid over weirs, and sluices 
were opened, when the miller found his purse would not 
suffer, and salmon leaped and splashed again in pools 
which had long been silent, and the food of the people 
was multiplied. 

One example may be given of his happy way of con- 
ciliating opposition by a union of good sense and good 
humour, making his subject simple to every understanding, 
however rustic, and while raising many a hearty laugh, 
impressing all with a sense of his own earnestness. 

He seemed to have power to charm the reluctant ; many 
who came to listen, suspicious, dogged and perverse, soon 
yielded to his genial tact and wit, and became themselves 
inflamed with piscicultural ardour. 

The inspectors held a meeting at Maryport in August 
1867, to endeavour to enfranchise the river Ellen, then 
encumbered with mill weirs, and to induce the millers, 
though jealous of their rights, to co-operate in freeing the 
river from obstruction. 

‘ \ ou have,’ he said, 1 a beautiful property in the 



o 



194 



LIFE OF FRANK RUCKLAND 



river Ellen ; because nature favoured it. Fight against 
nature, you will be beaten ; go with her, she will assist 
you. The salmon is a very clever fellow. A gentleman 
at the British Association pi*oduced in a glass some brains, 
which he said were the least developed of any that could 
be found ! They were salmon’s brains. I said, “ 1 will not 
hear my friend assailed, and I will back the salmon against 
you.” To cultivate a river, you must study intimately 
the habits of the fish. A river is like a railway. Lay a 
line from London to Carlisle without break, the train will 
go straight through, but if a rail is placed across the line, 
over goes the train. So with a river. If the river is 
clear, a fish will rush right up ; but if a weir is placed 
across, it stops him. The river Ellen has admirable 
spawning grounds, and a natural supply of fish, but they 
have been exterminated. The principal enemies are those 
abominable weirs, and particularly one curled over like a 
lady’s chignon, and a horrid-looking one it is. Imagine 
yourselves to be fish, in close season. How would you 
make your way up the river ? You would not jump the 
weirs, you could not get over them. The fish want to get 
over them into the upper stream — not for the benefit of 
men, but on their own business ; but men have told the 
fish that, although so valuable, they shall not come. The 
millers have built the weirs to turn the mills, and stopped 
the fish ; but with a little ingenuity the miller may drive 
his mill, and the fish pass every weir as well ; so that 
both fish and miller may make proper use of the river.’ 

Describing each weir and the remedies to be applied, 
he continued : — 

‘ The principle is very simple after all. We often 



INSPECTOR OF FISHERIES 



195 



go griping about while tbs trutb is staring' us in tlio faco. 
How have we all come into this room ? If we had been 
outside and smelt the smell of dinner, we might have 
tried jumping in at the window, but we found that the 
landlord had made us a staircase, and when we got to the 
top of the staircase we opened the door. So the fish 
assemble in the pool, they jump and jump, and cannot get 
over. Now what have the improvers of the river to do ? 
They have to open the door— that is the sluice — and the 
fish will go through. 

1 1 see present our friend the miller. Now I have a 
sort of dread of millers. When inspectors go to examine 
weirs, and see a white cap coming across the field, they say, 
“ Oh, here comes the ogre of the weir, who destroys all the 
salmon.” I confess it is a satisfaction to me to see the 
miller get pelted with flour in the pantomimes. I must 
say, however, that Cumberland millers are the best fellows 
I ever met. The first miller we met to-day has opened a 
fish-pass, and promises in winter time to open the sluice 
every night. That will beat any ladder we can make. 

‘At Dereham my excellent colleague, Mr. Walpole, 
has shown us what to do. It is to make a pool, and 
pool-making is a very simple business. Supposing that 
our weir is six feet high; if a fish cannot jump three 
feet, it can jump two. In order to jump, the fish must 
have a deep pool from whence to spring ; he takes a 
long run in the pool, and comes up from the deep water 
like an arrow. The way to give deep water is to build 
a wall about two feet high ; the water will fill it up into 
a pool, and instead of having four feet, the salmon will 
have only two feet to jump. 



196 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCK LAND 



‘ Next we come to Birkley weir, which is a puzzler. If 
I were a fish and got up to Birkley, I should say, “ Good- 
morning, gentlemen ; you treat me so badly that I shall go 
back again.” Then we come to Ellen Grove. It is quite 
a treat to see the ladder there ; it is very good, not quite 
perfect ; but if I were a fish I should go up, because they 
have made the staircase very easy. There is a pool at the 
bottom of the weir, and the fish can stay there all day, 
and perhaps say, “ Here are the inspectors coming, and I 
hope they are going to keep down the poachers.” There 
is another enemy to be found at Birkley weir. Not a 
miller but a tanner, and that is next door to a miller. 
I said to the tanner, “ You have been brewing some 
porter this morning ; ” but the tanner replied, “ It is onlj' 
lime water.” I asked the tanner if he could not put his 
lime somewhere else, and would it not be better to put it 
on the land and let his cabbage eat it ? Now, there is a 
certain public spirit in every English breast, which will 
always make him draw back a little when the public wishes 
it ; so I said to the tanner, “ Please oblige those gentlemen 
of Maryport, and don’t throw that lime into the river ; ” 
and the tanner replied, “No, I won’t! I will throw it on 
my midden.” 

‘ Now Mr. Senhouse holds a most important position on 
the river ; he has the key of the front door ; the upper 
proprietors have the bedrooms and dressing-rooms and 
attics. If you do not unlock the front door, it is of no 
earthly use opening the other doors. The fish must be 
got over the weir at the entrance of the river : it must be 
done. 

‘ When Lord Palmerston passed an Act of Parliament 



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197 



compelling manufacturers to consume their smoke, gentle- 
men came and said, “ It can’t be done.’' Lord Palmerston 
replied, I don’t know whether it can or cannot be done, 
but it must and shall be done.” Mr. Senhouse will see 
at once the importance of opening the weir and allowing 
the fish to get up the river. If a salmon comes there and 
sees no obstruction, he will go up the river as straight 
as he can go for the spawning-grounds.’ 

How wide the field was for improvement in the salmon 
fisheries appeared from calculations quoted in the report 
for 1868. On seventeen salmon rivers, salmon were ex- 
cluded by weirs or pollutions, or both, from an area of 
11,600 square miles, leaving accessible to the salmon in 
those rivers an area of only 6,600 square miles. 

Despite weirs and pollutions, and the vis inertice of 
habit and prejudice, salmon multiplied to a marked extent. 

The annual sales of Scotch salmon in Billingsgate 
Market, as quoted in the report for 1868, averaged 1,100 
tons; fluctuating in different years from 750 to 2,100 
tons. The sales of Irish salmon in Billingsgate, in the 
eight years preceding the Irish Fishery Act of 1842, 
averaged 83 tons a year ; in the twenty-six following 
years to 1867, 270 tons a year; and in the following nine 
years, 350 tons a year. The yearly sales of English and 
Welsh salmon at the same market, in the ten years pre- 
ceding the Act of 1861, averaged about eight tons only. 
In 1867, the yearly sale had increased to an average of 50 
tons, and in the following nine years to an average of 
88 tons. The total annual sales of English and Welsh 
salmon throughout the country was estimated in later 
reports to have increased to 100,000Z. in value. 



198 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



To accomplish these results required ceaseless per- 
sonal exertion. To stir up the inert, to combat stolid 
prejudice, to harmonise conflicting rights, to infect others 
with a spark of his own enthusiasm ; this was Frank 
Buckland’s daily task. 

His museum also occupied much time and labour. 
‘ Being exceedingly anxious,’ he wrote in his second 
report, ‘ that the public should have a good idea of the 
nature and importance of the British Salmon Fisheries, I 
am happy to be able to report, that I have now got to- 
gether a Museum of Economic Fish Culture ; and my col- 
lection is open free to the public at South Kensington. 
The natural history of the salmon, as well as of other 
products of the waters, of economic value, especially the 
oyster, is illustrated by plaster casts and preparations, all 
of which I have made myself, and mostly at my own 
expense. There will be found in my museum models of 
salmon passes, and modes of salmon capture, nets, &c. 
The process of hatching the ova of salmon, trout, &c. is 
also carried on at the Gardens on a considerable scale. 
This is now the third year that I have been enabled to 
distribute, on the part of the Acclimatisation Society, a 
considerable number of ova to various rivers in England. 
Although the judicious cultivation and opening up of 
natural spawning-grounds will, in my opinion, be always 
preferable to hatching the Salmonidce by artificial means, 
vet, inasmuch as the transport of large numbers of salmon 
and trout in the embryo state, to places where they did 
not exist before, and also improvement in the breed of fish, 
may be readily effected by the artificial process, I trust 



INSPECTOR OF FISHERIES 



199 



that my efforts have done good, and will continue to do so 
for the future.’ 

Castino- fish for the Museum was no easy matter. 
This is ‘How we cast the large Sturgeon’ in April 
1867 

‘ On Tuesday evening, about 5 P.M., Messrs.- Grove of 
Bond Street sent word that they had a very fine sturgeon 
on their slab. Of course I went down at once to see it. 
The fish weighed, I was informed, 212 lbs.; it measured 
9 feet in length. I was anxious to make a cast of this 
fine fellow, but I confess the size and weight rather 
frightened me ; however, they offered me the fish for 
the ought ; he must be back in the shop the next morning 
by 10 a.m. Determined not to lose the chance, I called 
a cab, and we tried to get the sturgeon on the top of it, 
but he was “ too much ” for us, and we were obliged to 
give up all idea of this mode of conveyance of our huge 
friend from Bond Street to Albany Street. Messrs. Grove 
then kindly sent him up in a cart, and we got him out of 
the cart easily enough on his arrival at my door, but it 
was with the greatest difficulty we hauled him up the 
doorsteps. We then thought of pitching him headlong 
over the railings into the area below, and thus getting him 
into the little front kitchen, which, though, terribly small, 
I use as a casting-room ; but his back was so slippery and 
his scales so sharp to the hands, that Master Sturgeon 
beat us again. However, I was determined to get him 
down into the kitchen somehow ; so, tying a rope to his 
tail, I let him slide down the stone stairs by his own 
weight. He started all right, but, “ getting way” on him, 



200 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



I could hold the rope no more, and away he went sliding 
headlong down the stairs, like an avalanche from Mont 
Blanc. At the bottom of the stairs is the kitchen door ; 
the sturgeon came against it “ nose on ” like an iron bat- 
tering ram ; he smashed the door open in a moment with 
his snout and slid right into the kitchen, gliding easily 
along the oil-cloth till at last he brought himself to 
an anchor under the kitchen table. This sudden and 
unexpected appearance of the armour-clad sea-monster, 
bursting open the door — shut purposely to keep out the 
sight of “ the master’s horrid great fish ” — instantly created 
a sensation scene, and great and dire was the commotion. 
The cook screamed, the housemaid nearly fainted ; the cat 
jumped on the dresser, upsetting the best crockery; the 
little dog Danny, with tail between his legs, made a pre- 
cipitate retreat under the copper and barked furiously ; the 
monkeys went mad with fright, and screamed “ Murder ” 
in monkey language ; the sedate parrot’s nerves were ter- 
ribly shaken, and it has never spoken a word since ; and 
all this bother, because a poor harmless dead sturgeon 
burst open the kitchen door, and took up his position 
under the kitchen table. Worse than all, I was obliged 
to go out to dinner that night : but, nevertheless, before 
leaving the house, I managed, with ropes and improvised 
mechanical contrivances, to get the sturgeon on the table 
of the casting-room, and piped all hands to work. My 
secretary took charge of the moulding, and worked well 
at it. Before 2 in the next morning the mould was made, 
and before 10 the sturgeon was back again on Grove’s 
slab. Now comes the difficulty. How am I ever to get 
the cast out of the little room ? It will be too wide to 



INSPECTOR OF FISHERIES 



201 



pass out of the door, and too long to twist round so as to 
slew it out, and solid plaster will not twist like the pliant 
body of the fish itself. I can’t get it out of the window 
on account of the iron bars let into the stone- work. 
Robinson Crusoe built a boat of wood, and made it so 
heavy he could never launch it. I am much in the same 

v 

predicament with the cast of my sturgeon, but I never 
was beat yet by a fish, even though he be a cumbersome 
monster like the present occupant of my casting-room.’ 

The large sturgeon was, however, eclipsed a few days 
iater by the arrival of a whale. 

1 1 am happy to say,’ he wrote on May 4, 1867, £ my 
whale has at last arrived. Early on Saturday morning last, I 
received a note from Mr. Bartlett of the Zoological Gardens, 
saying the whale was awaiting my immediate inspection, 
having just arrived from Edinburgh. Having previously 
obtained leave from Dr. Murie, the prosector of the Society, 
to make use of his dissecting-room, we shot the whale bodily 
out of the van, and placed him on the asplialte floor. It was 
a fine whale, but not so large as I should have wished. The 
largest of those captured in the Firth of Forth, at the 
beginning of the week, was 25 feet in length, whereas my 
specimen measured 11 ft. 6 in. in length, and 7 ft. 6 in. in 
girth. There can be no doubt, I think, that my specimen 
is Globicephalus deductor , or the ca’ing whale. His head 
resembles somewhat a huge round glass carboy as used by 
wholesale chemists, or the forehead of a person afflicted 
with hydrocephalus. I cannot say his colours are well 
marked, as his whole body is simply like a mass of india- 
rubber, shaded off to a narrow line of olive green on the 
belly ; the body is likewise elastic and silk-like to the 



202 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



touch like india-rubber. His eyes are very small, in fact 
almost invisible. Iiis fins are tapered, and in shape not 
unlike a pair of ladies’ gloves folded before they have been 
put on. His back fin is curved somewhat like a Turkish 
scimitar, and its lower edge ends in a sharp ridge, which 
runs the whole length of the body from the back fin to 
the tail. The teeth, twenty-eight in number, are conical, 
and slightly set in their sockets. The tongue was project- 
ing somewhat from the mouth ; it is dark blue above and 
red below. It is said to be good eating. The Shetlanders 
call this whale the ca’ing whale ; ca’ing is the Orkney for 
“ driving ” (i.e. on shore). It is called deductor from its 
peculiar habit of following a leader, the main flock follow- 
ing a leader like wild ducks in the air. The Shetlanders 
from this cause call it the u leading whale ; ” at Faroe it 
is called the “ guard whale.’’ They are harmless, in- 
offensive creatures, and I should imagine excessively stupid, 
as they are continually running ashore, allowing them- 
selves to be murdered wholesale. Their food, I believe, is 
fish. They are very fat and make very good oil ; the 
blubber upon this creature was cut off in masses, like great 
folio books 4 inches thick, and sent away to be boiled into 
oil. The flesh was of a very dark red colour, much re- 
sembling that of a horse. Having obtained a vanload of 
plaster, I determined to devote the usual half-holiday of 
Saturday to casting the whale. It was perfectly impossible 
to cast it in one piece, as it weighed a ton. We therefore 
made the mould in six pieces, and it was wonderful what 
an enormous quantity of plaster it took to do this. I had, 
however, very able assistance from my friends. Some came 
simply to look on, but I told them either to go away or to 



INSPECTOR OF FISHERIES 



203 



strip ancl work ; one by one they took off their coats, got 
their hands whitened with plaster, and set to work like men. 
After a while we got the whale entirely covered up with 
plaster, white and glittering like a huge twelfth cake covered 
with sugar ; but then came the difficulty of getting the 
moulds off again. The very first piece showed me something 
was wrong. Alas ! the plaster was all cracking like unsafe 
ice. We therefore had to begin all over again, and put 
another coat right over it, so that when the mould was 
ultimately taken off, it was of the thickness of armour- 
plating of an ironclad. This done, we got the head and 
sides off right enough, but when attempting to turn over 
the largest portion of the mould, about 9 feet long, one 
side, without the least warning, gave way in the most 
aggravating manner, and crumbled like a piece of pie-crust. 
This was the result of the tradesman, from whom I had 
the plaster, being cruel enough to supply me with 
a very inferior kind, which, he must have been well 
aware, was good for nothing. Luckily the side broke in 
pretty large pieces; so we managed, with difficulty and 
much contriving, to put them together again. All this took 
a long time, but I was determined to finish the whale that 
night, as I did not know when I should have time to touch 
it again. Having rested a few minutes, we all set to work 
to cast it from the mould ; and, to make a long story short, 
I finished it completely before Sunday morning, getting my 
Saturday’s dinner at five minutes to 12 at night, and 
most thoroughly I enjoyed it after so many hours’ heavy 
work. On Monday afternoon I got a van which just held 
the pieces of the whale, and, with great labour, we managed 
safely to deposit the ponderous masses on the vacant space 



204 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



of ground near to my museum at the Horticultural Gardens. 
I hope, at the first leisure time, to be able to put the pieces 
together and to complete this specimen, which I know is 
the only cast of a whale in London.’ 

Both casts of sturgeon and whale were at last com- 
pleted, and are now in the museum. 

Another incident of the same year is thus related : — 

‘ This summer 1 enjoyed the privilege of seeing Captain 
Salvin’s cormorants work in the river Test. The miller 
put down his hatches for the cormorants to work in the 
pool. The birds had not been in this pool a moment 
before we saw them hunting a large fish round and round 
under water ; the fish was so large they could not swallow 
it, and there was a regular set-to under water (like a 
steam-engine gone mad at the bottom of the river), 
between the “ Detective ” and “ Hoang Ho ” (the cor- 
morants) and the fish. I could stand it no longer, so I 
jumped into the water, and went to the assistance of the 
birds. The birds and myself had two or three good 
courses, and at last the poor hunted fish took refuge under 
some boards, which formed the apron below the hatches. 
“ Hoang Ho ” kept pecking at him with his beak, but 
could not reach him. I then went in still deeper into 
the water, and, putting in practice my usual method of 
catching fish with my hands, I soon had master fish out ; 
to my surprise it was a grayling, weighing nearly 3 lbs. 
When I first got hold of him, he fought uncommonly hard, 
and his scales were very slippery; he was a strong fish 
and no mistake. At last I landed him on the bank, 
whilst our friend Salvin greeted us with loud shouts, 
and vehement cracks of his cormorant whip. The only 



INSPECTOR OF FISHERIES 



205 



person not pleased was the miller, who said “he never 
see’d three such poachers in his life in the water together, 
as them long-necked birds with straps round their necks, 
and the gent as ought to have a strap round his n. 

Hedgehogs, whose habits he had described in £ Curio- 
sities of Natural History,’ again gave rise to a lively 
correspondence : — 1 

‘My friend, Mr. Gilbanks, said at a public dinner 
the other day at Maryport, that ££ he and I had had many 
a passage at arms, but that we were none the worse 
friends for that.” I now, therefore, again call on the 
squire to draw his sword. Protocols have failed, and it is 
a casus belli in re hedgehogs. I have tried hedgehogs to 
kill beetles ; they don’t act. A hedgehog cannot possibly 
hold above a pint of beetles at a time, and in my kitchen 
there are gallons of them. 

£ I once tried the hedgehog plan at the Deanery, 
Westminster. The first night after his arrival, the Abbey 
watchman was frightened out of his wits — it was the 
hedgehog. The next night, fast asleep, I felt a cold nose 
on my face, and then a prickly thing trying to get into 
bed — it was the hedgehog. The next night, the servants 
came trembling to say there was a burglar in the dining- 
room rattling the plate — it was the hedgehog. The next 
night, the cook put some soup away, and in the morning 
the soup was gone — the hedgehog was found coiled up 
asleep in the tureen. The next night, nothing was heard 
of the hedgehog, and for weeks we could not tell where he 
was gone. The cook was thankful, and the crickets sang 
t£ 0 ! be joyful,” while the blackbeetles had free run of the 

' 1st Series, p. 118. 



20G 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



kitchen. “ Years rolled on,” as the novelists say, and a 
skeleton was discovered in the flue, which had smoked 
the whole house out for weeks. The hedgehog again ! 
Thank goodness I have seen the last of that wretch, and 
never wish to have another of his kind on the premises. 

1 Unless, therefore, my friends wish to run the chance 
of a hedgehog becoming the same pest to them as he was 
to me, they will never introduce him into their houses. 
Hedgehogs will only eat a certain number of beetles, and 
the beetles having good spawning-ground behind the 
kitchen range, breed much faster than the hedgehog can 
eat. Again, good squire, who told you that tortoises ate 
beetles ? Surely nobody but the London costermonger who 
wished to sell you one. We might as well shut up the 
squire himself in his own kitchen to eat blackbeetles, as 
shut up a tortoise to perform that task. If my state- 
ment is doubted, shut up a tortoise with a dozen black- 
beetles : I warrant the dozen beetles will remain there till 
the tortoise dies of starvation, and it is then exceedingly 
likely that the beetles will eat up the tortoise. 

1 Finally, the squire says hedgehogs are good to eat ; 
he is quite right there. If he will kindly give me a 
fortnight’s notice of his next visit to London, I will put 
up a nice young hedgehog to fat, and we will discuss 
the whole matter over a roasted urchin.’ 

Hedgehogs gave rise to another debate : whether or 
not they were susceptible of poison. 

£ When studying chemistry at Giessen with Professor 
Liebig,’ Frank Buckland wrote, 1 we tried this experiment, 
and it was fatal to the poor hedgehog. I have also tried 
hedgehogs and vipers. The viper struck the hedgehog 



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207 



two or three times in the face, where there were no 
bristles ; the blows were well aimed, and meant to do 
business, as at the moment the hedgehog was munching 
up the viper’s tail. The hedgehog did not suffer in the 
least ; on the contrary, he ate up the viper in a few minutes, 
leaving not a trace behind.’ 

In the autumn, rapid journeys of inspection followed 
one another, of which the following is a fortnight’s 
record : — 

£ August 19. — By the 10 train to Alnwick, to Duke of 
Northumberland. Wrote all the way from London to 
Newcastle. 

£ 20 th . — Up early, and with Lord Percy, to look at the 
Abbey Mill Weir. Attended meeting of the conservators ; 
after that dragged the river, and then on to Alnmouth. 

1 21st. — To see the artificial hatching place ; with post 
horses in Duke’s carriage, to Wentsworth mill, and then to ' 
Acklington Weir; then to Felton, and then back to Aln- 
wick. By train that night to Newcastle. 

£ 22nd. — Walked about Newcastle, looked at Fish-mar- 
ket and museum. Then on to Hexham, meeting of conser- 
vators. Then to Carlisle. 

‘ 23rd. — Drove all down the Ain. Meeting at Maryport. 

£ 24 th. — Beturned to London.’ 

£ 2 6th. — To Chepstow ; saw general conformation of the 
Wye. 

£ 27 th. — Caermarthen, then on to Conyd. 

£ 28 th. — Up early and went to falls of Penarth. Then 
to Newcastle Emlyn, and then to Cardigan ; met Inspec- 
tor of Police at Newcastle, and ordered a new pass for the 
fish. 



208 



LIFE OF FliANK BUCKLAND 



‘ 29 th . — At Cardigan. Drove on that night to New- 
port. 

‘ 30 th . — By 5 o’clock morning bus, through Fishguard 
to Haverfordwest. Took fly there ; looked at two weirs on 
the Cleddy; and also paper-mills; then on to Langham, 
and thence to New Milford. 

‘ 31st . — To Pembroke, then train back to Chepstow : 
very pleasant week.’ 

On his return, he described with sympathy the struggles 
of the fish to surmount the weirs. 

‘ The migratory Sahnonidce are now on their road from 
the sea up the rivers towards the spawning grounds ; and 
should any of my readers happen to be in the neighbour- 
hood of weirs or other obstructions on salmon rivers, they 
should certainly not lose the opportunity of observing for 
themselves the game qualities which these poor fish show, 
in their attempts to get over the natural or artificial bar- 
riers placed in their highway. I heard the other day of a 
languid tourist, who, when gazing through his eye-glass 
at some tired-out fish-pilgrims continually hurled back 
at a weir, insulted my scale-bearing friends by calling 
them “ speckled enthusiasts.” I should much like to 
have placed the tourist aforesaid in the foaming water 
beneath the weir, and then, while watching his efforts to 
get again on terra firma, it strikes me the fish would in 
their turn have called him, with justice (for he had a plaid 
coat on), a “ speckled enthusiast.” Idle people should 
not insult salmon ; at least, I shall always call them to 
account if they do. 

‘ I have lately witnessed two scenes, which really made 
my heart ache. When surveying the Coquet, we came to 



INSPECTOR OF FISHERIES 



209 



a terrible obstruction, called the Acklington Dam. This 
is a wall built in a curved shape right across the river, 
and stops the ascending fish, as completely as a barrier 
placed across the street stops cabs and omnibuses, when 
the Londoners are out u reforming.” 

‘ The dam was nearly dry, except one place in the middle, 
over which a sheet of water, about as wide as an ordinary 
house window and about 6 inches in depth, was continually 
pouring. 

c The pool at the foot of this weir was perfectly alive 
with fish. At my first gaze I was astounded, and I 
felt the blood tingle in my ears, as I caught sight of the 
swarm of fish, bull-trout, that were attempting to as- 
cend. In the space of one minute I saw no less than 
twenty-seven fish make jumps, and in the next minute 
and a half, I counted thirty fish ; some of them were little 
fellows not five inches long ; others, large and full-grown 
fish, the aristocrats of the river. 

‘ The dam was 1 1 feet high, and many fish actually 
jumped nine feet straight into the air. I am certain of 
this, because I walked, with considerable difficulty, upon 
the top of the slippery stones of the dam, and with a 
measuring-tape measured the height, and also the points 
up to which, I had seen the fish jump. 

There is a very deep pool at the point where the 
waterfall joins the lower level of the river. The fish came 
out of this pool into the air with the velocity of an arrow ; 
they gave no warning or notice of their intentions, but up 
they came, and darted out of the surface of the water with 
a sudden rush, like rockets let loose from the darkness of 
the night into the space above. When they first appeared 

p 



210 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



in the air, their tails were going with the velocity 
of a watch-spring just broken, and the whole body, 
sparkling as though enamelled, was quivering with the 
exertion. 

4 They looked as much like flying-fish as ever I saw 
anything in my life. As they ascended, their tails left off 
quivering, for these tails were machines made to act on 
water, and not wings to act on air. Their course was 
somewhat trajectory in form, but not so much as I should 
have expected. Not one single fish, alas ! did I see get 
over ; some of them jumped into the body of the waterfall, 
and were hurled violently back, down into the pool, like 
the pictures we see of soldiers of old thrown down headlong 
from the ramparts of a besieged city. 

4 Other fish would put on more steam, and were in conse- 
quence carried by their own impetus right through the 
sheet of water, dashing themselves with the force of a 
cricket-ball from a catapult against the solid wall which 
formed the weir. These also, poor things, fell back into the 
pool half-stunned, and with cut and bruised noses. While 
the bigger fish were making these strenuous efforts to 
ascend, their smaller companions were jumping distances 
more or less high up into the falling water. 

4 Many had evidently given it up for a bad job, and were 
swimming about with their little black noses projecting 
out of the white boiling water, doubtless crying out, 44 We 
can’t get up, we can’t get up. Cruel miller, to put this 
weir. Mr. Buckland, do what you can for us.” 44 Wait a 
bit, my dear fish,” I said; 44 the Duke of Northumberland 
is a kind man, and he is going to make a ladder for you ; 
the plans are nearly settled; and you shall then jump for 



INSPECTOR OF FISHERIES 



211 



joy, and not for pain. In the meantime read this.” So 
I pinned a large piece of paper on the weir, which read 
thus : — 

1 “ Notice to Salmon and Bull-Trout. 

“‘No road at present over this weir. Go down stream, 
take the first turn to the right, and you will find good 
travelling water up stream, and no jumping required. — 
F. T. B.” ’ 



212 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCK LAND 



CHAPTER X. 

ABOUT FISH, BEASTS, AND BIRDS: 1868-1869. 

In January 1868 Frank Buckland collected, in ‘terribly 
cold ’ weatker, and packed in ice on board the ‘ Celestial 
Queen, ’ at St. Katherine’s Docks, the first salmon and trout 
ova shipped to New Zealand. For ten years he continued 
to collect and export salmon and trout eggs to different 
colonies of Australasia. 

The trout ova sent to Tasmania in 1864 had thriven 
and multiplied, adapting their habits to the climate of the 
Antipodes, breeding in July, the winter of those climes, 
instead of in January. The eggs of these trout were sent 
from Tasmania to Victoria and New Zealand, and multiplied 
there. The salmon eggs sent out at the same time were 
hatched out in Tasmania, and grew to smolts ; but it was 
still debated whether the fish, which now and then were 
seen leaping in Tasmanian waters, were really salmon. 

Now trout, salmon trout, and in some rivers salmon, 
have been by these means acclimatised in Tasmania, New 
Zealand, and Australia. In Tasmania, the first of these 
colonies to which ova were exported, most of the streams 
on the north, south, and east coasts are already fairly 
stocked with trout, and others contain sea-trout; but at 
present the Derwent and its tributaries are the only rivers 
in Tasmania in which the true salmon is believed to exist. 



ABOUT FISH, BEASTS, AND BIRDS 



213 



On February G, 1868, a dinner of horse-flesh was given 
at the Langham Hotel, as an experiment of the value of 
that article of food, which is said to be now rather exten- 
sively used in Paris. The guests were many, scientific 
and intellectual, but, according to Frank Buckland, the 
pleasures of the table were social rather than gastronomic. 

1 A very pleasant party at our end of the table, but the meat 
simply horrible.’ 

1 February 7. — Very seedy indeed ; partly effects of 
horse, partly of a very bad cold ; felt very queer all day.’ 
The flavour of the meat, though served in various 
ways, he described as resembling the aroma of a horse in a 
perspiration. 

1 In the middle of the dinner stood up to watch the 
countenances of the people eating, and I devoutly wished 
I had had the talent of a Hogarth to be able to record the 
various expressions. Instead of “ men’s beards wagging,” 
there seemed to be a dubious and inquisitive cast spread 
over the features of most who were present. Many, Indeed, 
reminded me of the attitude of a person about to take a pill 
and draught ; not a rush at the food, but a “ one, two, three ! ” 
expression about them, coupled not unfrequently by calling 
in the aid of the olfactory powers, reminding one of the 
short and doubtful sniff, that a domestic puss not over- 
hungry takes of a bit of bread and butter. The bolder 
experimenters gulped down the meat, and instantly followed 
it with a draught of champagne, then came another 
mouthful, and then, as we say, fiat haustus ut antea.’ 

The condition of the animals slaughtered may affect 
the flavour of the meat : on another occasion Frank 
Buckland and Mr. Bartlett experimented with prime 



214 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



steaks of horse and beef, and were unable to distinguish 
between them ; yet few would eat horseflesh willingly. 
A suggestion was made to the Home Office, by Frank 
Buckland, that if prisoners were fed on horseflesh the 
prisons would soon be empty. Tenderness for the criminal 
class has prevented its adoption. 

The following are among the correspondence for the 
year 1868 : — 

‘ February 15 th . — The whelks will soon begin, if they 
have not already begun, to deposit their curious egg-masses. 
The study of these is well worthy of attention. The struc- 
ture of the transparent membrane is horn-like, and the 
marvellous manner in which the numerous capsules are 
joined together, and the young ones packed away inside, 
is most worthy of notice. It would seem almost to be a 
modification of a bee-cell adapted for under-water existence. 
There are large quantities of whelks on the grounds of the 
Herne Bay Oyster Fishery. Last year the whole coast was 
strewed, after a storm, for a long distance with these 
whelks’ eggs ; in some, the young whelks were so far 
developed that their shells had become hard, and when the 
capsule became dry the young whelks rattled like shots in 
a child’s rattle. There were from three to six young 
whelks in each capsule. Each capsule is shaped like a 
lady’s handbag, and has a patulous mouth with no appear- 
ance of a valve. The young shells have but two whorls 
and are exceedingly fragile. Whelks are caught by a 
mode of fishing called “ Trotting.” A number of unfor- 
tunate common shore-crabs are strung together with a 
needle and string run through their backs, so as to make a 
bunch ; these are sunk to the bottom of the sea, and left 



ABOUT FISH, BEASTS, AND BIRDS 



215 



for a while ; they are then drawn up, and the whelks which 
have come to eat the crabs shaken into the boat. A number 
of these bunches of crabs are laid down, and the trotter 
rows from one to the other. A great many of these whelks 
are sold as bait for the North Sea cod fisheries, and they 
will live a long time in sacks. Young oysters are par- 
ticularly fond of “ sitting down ” upon whelk shells. I 
have several specimens in my museum to show this ; one 
in which the poor whelk is absolutely smothered with them, 
like flies on a fly-paper. In another specimen, an oyster 
has fastened himself on to a whelk, and, I think, “ proved 
the death of him.” The poor whelk probably carried the 
great lazy oyster about on his back, till at last he became 
so heavy that he could do so no longer ; so he gave it up 
as a bad job, and died to “ spite the oyster.” Another 
oyster has taken board and lodging just inside the shell of 
a whelk. This uninvited guest must have been a terrible 
bore to the whelk, for he could neither come in nor go 
out of his shell to look for his dinner, without passing the 
bailiff in possession of the door. However, the oyster has 
not quite had all his own way, for the whelk has made 
him squeeze himself up as flat as possible, so as not to 
stop the way entirely. Another oyster has taken up his 
position on the summit of a whelk, like a flying Mercury 
on the top of a column. This was a wise oyster. He 
rode about the bottom of the sea at his ease, and saw the 
world for nothing.’ 

‘ April . — I have received a steak of a fine bison bull that 
was killed by the orders of Lord Wharncliffe, Wortley 
Hall, Sheffield. The poor bull suffered for his ferocity, 
and has been turned into beefsteaks. The meat is grand 



216 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



eating, with a slight game flavour, a little hard, which, 
perhaps, was my fault in having it broiled, but many 
degrees better than “ hippocreas ” or horse-flesh. I dis- 
tributed the meat sent me in small portions to various 
friends ; they all agree as to its excellent quality. We 
should all be much pleased that Lord Wharncliffe is culti- 
vating bisons. They will doubtless do well in this country. 
One hardly hears of a gravel pit or new brick-field being 
opened up on the London Basin, without discoveries being 
made of the bones of Bos, something or another, Bos 
longifrons, Bos primigenius, &c. England is doubtless a 
Bos-carrying country, and any new variety of beef will be 
most acceptable to the public, while the animals themselves 
would be highly ornamental to parks, and be a change 
upon the ubiquitous and old-fashioned fallow deer.’ 

1 August . — On returning home late, I found on the 
dining-room table a jeweller’s box, with the jeweller’s 
name prominently on the top, but with the envelope 
torn off, and the lid on one side ; on removing the cotton 
wool, before reading the note, which accompanied the box, 
I confess I was a little startled at seeing a scorpion at the 
bottom, with his tail well over his back, ready for the 
attack. I shook him out carefully, and then discovered that 
he was dead. The secret of the box being opened has at 
last leaked out. It arrived at tea-time when I was not at 
home. Seeing the gold-lettered jewel label on the top, 
how could the custom-house officer possibly allow such 
a suspicious parcel to remain unopened till 11 at 
night ? It was therefore unclosed with great ceremony, as 
far as I can understand, and when Scorpio the poisonous 
— not gold bracelet the beautiful — was discovered, there 



ABOUT FISII, BEASTS, AND BIRDS 



217 



was a scene rivalling that when Blue Beard’s wife opened 
the mystic cupboard. The box, scorpion and all, was 
flung into the grate with a shriek (luckily there was no 
fire or I should have lost the specimen), and there remained, 
till the adventurous butler, “ John,” who has had a good 
training under me, picked it up, and placed it on the table 
where I found it. I am glad the scorpion had been killed 
before he was packed up, as if he had been alive he might 
have stung somebody. As it is, I expect a second scolding 
from the post-office authorities. Some time since a friend 
killed (as he thought) a viper, and sent him off to me 
through the post. The viper during the journey thought 
proper to come to life again, and managed to get his head 
out of the parcel. On arriving at London, he was killed a 
second time, and was really dead when I received him. 
The scorpion affair was a little better, for he had been slain 
with a nail run through his body, before he was put into 
the pillar-post at Chatham. This little beast is now before 
me, he much resembles a very large blackbeetle ; his- length 
is one inch and five-eighths, and he weighs twelve grains. 

‘September 5. — On Friday se’nnight, arriving at Herne 
Bay, I heard news of an extraordinary fish that had been 
caught. I at once set to work, and found that it belonged 
to old Mount, a poor old man who lives at Hampton, near 
Heme Bay. A dredgerman told me that the fish was up 
at the railway station, and that it was going off to a man 
at Margate that night. At last I found Mount, and went 
directly off to the station. As we were going along, the 
old man told me the following story : “ I was out a-sapping 

for eels on Swalecliffe rock, when I see’d somethin a- 

' © 

paddling about and a-flapping his tail. I thought it was a 



218 



LIFE OF FRANK EUCKLAND 



gull at first, so I up’s anchor and goes to see what it was, 
and then I found this ’ere great fish ashore. I tried to get 
my anchor into his mouth, but he would not open it, so I 
catches hold of his tail with the bight of a rope, but as soon 
as I went one way he went t’other. So I jobs him through 
the head with my boat-liook, and lashes him head and tail 
to my old boat, to see if I could get him home that way. 
As I was a-going along, he gets under my boat, and pretty 
nigh capsized me, vessel and all ; so I says, ‘ I must have 
you ashore at once, my friend, and have another strike at 
ye ; ’ for I was most afeard on him, he was such a tremendous 
great thing, and I had nobody to assist me but myself. 
Then I got him into shoal water, and when I struck him 
on the head, he reared hisself right up, and put his flippers 
together as much as to say, c Pray don’t strike me.’ It was 
over two hours before that beast died, and then he laid 
hisself out as straight as an oar. He is not an old-fashioned 
pig porpoise, he is a regular bottle-nose one. He got in 
my way, not me in his’n, or I should never have catched 
him. If the Margate man has not sent the money I’ll sell 
him to you, sir. You shall have him cheap as he’s begin- 
ning to stiuk. I was half a mind to dig him into my tater 
ground.” 

c When I arrived at the station, there was the deceased 
monster, sewed up in old sacks, and directed to the man at 
Margate. I did not like to unpack him, so I loosed the 
cloth on his head, and saw that he was not too far gone to cast. 
I then bargained with old Mount, and the purchase-money 
being paid, changed the label and sent him up as goods 
to Neville, at the Horticultural Gardens. A mould has 
been now made of him by Neville and my secretary, and 



ABOUT FISH, BEASTS, AND BIRDS 



219 



liis skull prepared. I have not had time to make a close 
examination of my new specimen. He is, howevei , be- 
tween 6 and 7 feet long, and weighs (by railway scales) 
1 cwt. 2 qrs. 16 lbs. I believe him to be the dolphin ( Bel - 
phinus del/phis), a male. In his stomach weie six laige 
eels, some only partially digested. Both the dolphin and 
old Mount were on the same hunting-grounds, both after 
eels, only Mount had the best of the sport after all— he 
was “ bobbing for eels ” and caught a whale.’ 

1 September 19. — A large tunny from Dawlish arrived 
at my door in Albany Street on the foot-board of the 
railway delivery van yesterday morning. 

‘ I at once saw that it was such a gigantic thing that 

1 could not cast it in my kitchen. I therefore took it 
up to the distillery, where I was allowed to operate on 
it in the stable yard. On taking off the covering (an 
old carpet), I found that it was not an albicore, but a 
tunny, a magnificent specimen. The only fault was, that 
it had been a little too long out of the water to be pleasant 
company. The following are its dimensions : — extreme 
length, 8 feet 7 inches ; greatest circumference, 5 feet 

2 inches. It must have weighed between three and four 
hundredweight. 

c “ Ubique,” who was present, informed me, that he has 
frequently been present when tunnies have been caught in 
the Mediterranean, and he considers my fish the largest 
specimen he ever saw captured. This fish was, I believe, 
caught entangled in a pilchard net ; it had probably come 
out of its proper latitude in pursuit of pilchards. The 
tunny is one of the mackerel family ; in fact, it is very 
like an ordinary mackerel magnified. It is very plentiful 



220 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



in the Mediterranean, especially along the north coast 
and the Island of Sicily. The fishery takes place in the 
months of May and J une ; this is, I should imagine, most 
probably the spawning time. 

‘ The flesh is as red as beef, and seems to contain a 
great deal of blood, and it looks tough ; nevertheless, vast 
quantities are used for the Sicilian markets, and formed 
the Saltamentum Sardicum of the ancients. 

‘ I hope shortly to be able to finish the cast of this fine 
fish, and add it to my museum at the Horticultural Gardens, 
where he will form a fit companion for the sharks and the 
whale. 

‘ There is an old saying, “ that it never rains but it 
pours.” On Wednesday last, September 16, I received my 
tunny, and a telegram that a thresher shark had been 
caught at Brighton ; a letter to inform me that a shark 
had been captured at Dover ; a letter from Cornwall about 
a sword-fish which had been brought ashore ; also news of 
a large fish washed ashore at Achill Island, West Ireland, 
measuring 27 feet long and 12 feet circumference. This, 
doubtless, was an enormous specimen of the basking shark.’ 

Frank Buckland aided an inquiry by the Society of 
Arts c as to the supply of food for the people,’ choosing 
as his text, ‘ Oysters, Mussels, and Deep Sea Fishing ’ ; 
and in August attended the British Association at Norwich, 
and gave a short lecture on the progress of salmon and 
oyster culture. 

Frequent journeys to examine rivers and weirs, and 
advise on and superintend the construction of fish-passes ; 
lectures at Gloucester, Birmingham, Falmouth, Leaming- 
ton, Herne Bay, and Holloway ; literary work, and casting 



ABOUT FISH, BEASTS, AND BIRDS 



221 



numerous specimens for his museum ; the record of these 
labours fills his Journal. 

‘ October 24. — Casting the whole day ; an immense 
enjoyment. Finished cock and hen bull-trout, female 
with eggs, and the big gurnard.’ 

In December 1868, Frank Buckland was examined as a 
witness, with Professor Owen, in a notable case. The ship 
‘ Dreadnought ’ sailed from Colombo for London laden with 
coffee and insured for 3,0001. One afternoon they hooked 
a fish, which broke the line and a moment after threw 
several feet of its body out of the water, and was seen 
with the line attached. It was a sword-fish. At 4 the 
next morning, the mate awoke the captain and told him 
the ship had sprung a leak. On returning to Colombo, a 
nearly round hole was discovered in the ship’s bottom, 
piercing the copper sheathing and planking 3 inches 
thick. The question was whether the hole was made by 
the sword-fish. Numerous instances were shown of ships 
pierced by the sword-fish; sometimes to the depth of 14 
inches ; but in all instances hitherto known the sword re- 
mained broken off in the hole, and both Professor Owen 
and Frank Buckland doubted the power of the fish to 
withdraw its beak. ‘ The great power of the sword-fish,’ 
Frank Buckland said, ‘ is in forcing itself ahead ; its power 
is in its tail like the screw of a ship, but the fish could not 
go astern, it would have but little power in that direction. 
I think if I had a sword-fish by the beak, he could not go 
back. I have noticed when handling live salmon that they 
always try to go forward, not back. Whether a sword-fish 
could extract its beak from a ship’s side would of course 
depend on the depth that it had penetrated.’ ‘ But,’ said 



222 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



the counsel, f you never had hold of a live sword-fish by 
the beak and tried whether you could prevent him from 
going backwards ? ’ 1 No, but I should like to.’ 

This trial, which was decided on other grounds, gave 
occasion to a suggestive paper on the uses of the beak of 
the sword-fish. 

‘ I have received from the Mediterranean two fine 
specimens of the swords of sword-fish. At Constantinople 
a large number of these fish were exposed for sale in 
the public market ; as many as thirty sword-fish had 
been caught in one day in the Sea of Marmora; the 
specimens in the market weighed between three and five 
hundredweight. They are good eating ; the flesh is firm ; 
the colour between red and yellow, but not quite salmon- 
red. The market price was thirty piastres per “ hoke,” 
one hoke being about 2f lb. There are 120 piastres to 
the sovereign. Therefore the price of the fish is Is. 9 \d. 
per English pound weight, rather dear for this kind of fish, 
I should imagine. The two swords sent me are respec- 
tively 22-J- inches and 24 inches in length, about 2 inches 
in width at the base, and not quite 1^ at the point. They 
are like long sharp-pointed paper-knives ; in fact, I find 
they make capital paper-knives for newspapers. I can 
cut open a leaf of the “ Times ” with one blow, and I can 
rap the monkeys’ fingers when they come to steal from my 
writing-desk ; so that a sword from a sword-fish, if well 
mounted, would become a very handsome and useful 
appendage to the desk of a literary man. 

1 All the teeth of this beast seem to be concentrated, 
as it were, in this one huge tooth, and the mouth is ex- 
ceedingly small. By putting these two facts together, I 



ABOUT FISH, BEASTS, AND BINDS 



223 



fancy it possible, that the sword-fish lives upon minute 
soft sea creatures, and that he turns up the sand with his 
sword to hunt for them. This is the only solution I can 
at all give for the presence of this curious sword. 

‘ I have since ascertained a point in the construction of 
this sword which I fancy is confirmatory of this idea. 
When rapping the fingers of Miss Susey, my monkey, 
who came to drink the ink (a beverage of which she is 
particularly fond), I happened to break off about an inch 
and a half from the tip of the sword. On examining the 
fracture I discovered two minute holes in the substance of 
the bone. Experience has taught me, that a small probe is 
always ready to hand, in the form of a bristle from a hair 
brush. Passing one of these downwards, I found that 
there was a cavity, going farther than the length of the 
bristle, downwards towards the thick end of the sword. 
How to find out where the cavity ended was now the 
difficulty, but I soon hit upon a mode of determining the 
question. I happened to be smoking at the moment, so, 
placing the broken end of the sword in my mouth, I blew 
smoke into the holes at the top of the sword, and was de- 
lighted to see it come out at the other end in two volcano- 
like jets. Thus I ascertained, that these minute perforations 
extend the whole length of the sword. Besides these two 
holes, there is also a cavity in the centre of the sword, 
the dissection of which I have not yet finished. What, 
then, is the meaning of their presence ? I believe they 
are cavities which, when the animal was alive, contained 
nerves. At the lower end of the sword, moreover, I 
discovered remains of the cellular bone, known to anato- 
mists as the ethmoid bone, and upon which large nerves 



224 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



ramify themselves. I fancy that the nerves in the sword 
must take their origin from the ethmoid bone, and that 
they are nerves of sensation, which assist the operations 
of the fish, when he uses his sword to rout up the mud 
and sand for his food. A somewhat analogous piece of 
mechanism can be seen in the beak of a common duck. 
This bird searches for minute creatures in mud, and if 
the reader will take the trouble to dissect off the skin 
from the upper beak of a duck, he will find a large white 
nerve on each side coming out of the skull, just in front 
of the eye, and ramifying itself on the tip of the bill, so 
that the bird has, as it were, the tip of a finger on the end 
of its bill, and by the power of touch can select proper, 
and reject improper food. In my humble opinion, nature 
always economises material to its utmost extent, and every 
organ in the structure of every animal has its use, if we 
could but hnow what that iLse is. This is the doctrine of 
Teleology : i.e. the doctrine that every organ is adapted to 
a special use.’ 

His private Journal contains the following entry : — 

‘■December 30, 1868. — Last Thursday was my birth- 
day. I am now forty-two years old, and in full health of 
mind and body. My mind, I feel, is gradually hardening 
into an adult mind. My business as Fishery Inspector 
has done this. Not only points of natural history are 
thought of, but also points of business, conduct of affairs, 
legislation, &c. This must be a matter of deep study for 
me. I must teach myself, as I have had to teach myself 
nearly all I know ; but, thank God, the Dean gave me a 
good soil at Oxford, which will grow almost any seed 
placed in it, and I must now plant a new seed. Those of 



ABOUT FISH, BEASTS, AND BIRDS 



225 



observation have grown into big trees long ago ; I must 
now plant the tree of mental reasoning upon things ob- 
served. I am truly thankful for all mercies, because 
all is the gift of God. There are a diversity of gifts, 
and I have my gift. I hope, when I have to give in 
my account, that I shall be like the jnst man in the 
Parable of the Talents, and the Great Judge will say, 
“ Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” Some 
stupid positivists think nothing of Him who gave them 
their commission to work : they develop their own ideas 
instead. Pray, whence do new ideas come but by the 
mysterious influence of a God-proceeding Spirit, which 
gives unto all men severally as He will. I do not aspire 
to do more than my duty in that station to which it has 
pleased God to call me, but I want to do it nobly and 
well.’ 

In 1869 Frank Buckland sent a selection of exhibits 
to the Exposition of Fisheries at Havre, and was awarded 
a Diploma of Honour, in company with the engineer of the 
French Piscicultural Establishment at Huningue, and the 
King of Siam. 

In the same year, he received a medal from the Accli- 
matisation Society of Victoria, £ in token of the great 
services he had rendered to the cause of acclimatisation ; ’ 
and in December a silver claret jug was presented to him 
by the Provincial Government of Otago, New Zealand, ‘ as 
a small acknowledgment of the valuable services kindly 
rendered by him in January 1868, in the matter of the 
first transmission of salmon ova to the Province.’ 

In November he finished a series of models of salmon- 
ladders for the American Fishery Commissioners, and sent 

Q 



226 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



them to New York, together with five boxes of specimen 
oysters, and a photograph of his Museum. 

The admirable exhibit of the American Commissioners 
at the Fishery Exhibition of 1883, showed what careful 
attention the Government of the United States pays to 
the Science of Pisciculture, care which our own Govern- 
ment would do well to emulate. 

Frank Buckland received but little aid in his lifetime 
in the formation of the Museum, which he has bequeathed 
to the nation ; and it is lamentable to see, from neglect of 
proper housing, the rain dripping in at every storm upon 
the casts on which he bestowed such labour and loving care. 

The report of 1869 contains a list of ninety rivers 
examined by himself or his colleague, Mr. Walpole, over 
which fish-passes existed ; but of these only twenty-eight 
were effective, forty-eight were useless from improper con- 
struction or position, and fourteen were but partially suc- 
cessful. All these were carefully reported on, and remedies 
contrived and suggested. 

This report contains a treatise on the construction of 
fish-passes applicable to different forms of weirs, well 
worth the attention of conservators of salmon rivers. c As 
men and air-breathing animals pass over water by means 
of a bridge constructed in the air, so,’ he writes, 1 Sal- 
monidce, who breathe in water, require a bridge of water 
to pass over the obstructions situated in air, and it is 
to the construction of these water bridges that we must 
principally direct our attention ; they come into play under 
circumstances, when the distance which might be over- 
come by a jump or a spring on the part of the fish is too 
great.’ 



ABOUT .FISH, BEASTS, AND BIRDS 



227 



So the ever-varying problem was, with sloping boards, 
or piled-up boulders, or side- long channels, to break the 
current’s force, or form successive pools, from one to another 
of which the fish might leap, and scale the weir. 

No toil was spared in contriving successful fish-passes ; 
he waded the streams, walked the slippery edges of the 
weirs, with many a fall into the water, or knelt in the 
stream up to his chest to test the force of the current. 
He felt rewarded when he saw the fish leap from pool to 
pool and over the weir, as if it were their natural channel. 

In 1869 he again visited Bishop Wilberforce at 
Lavington. ‘ The Bishop received me at the door with 
the greatest kindness and hospitality. Great chaff at 
breakfast. Put on my water-dress and fished the Bishop’s 
stream both up and down during a tremendous storm of 
wind and rain ; present two young Wilberforces, charming 
young fellows. The Bishop came out to see me working, 
and also the ladies.’ 

There were also visits to. Blenheim. ‘ With the Duke of 
Marlborough round the private gardens, and fixed on a 
place by the waterfall where we should set to work to 
cultivate the fish ; ’ and again, later, to prescribe for the 
fish found to be dying in the ponds, and to fresh stock the 
ponds with 2,000 young fish. 

To Windsor many visits were paid in this and previous 
years, where the Great Lake trout he had placed in the 
lakes had prospered. { Dragged the Obelisk Lake. The 
first haul at upper end got thirteen fish, the second haul 
three fish, the largest about 3 lbs., none under 1 lb. The 
Prince much pleased.’ 

‘ To Windsor ; dragged the pond again ; caught five 



228 



LIFE OF FKANK EUCKLAND 



splendid fish, largest about 3 lbs. ; got a good lot of 
eggs from her, enough to make a show in five boxes. 
This makes altogether twenty-one Great Lake trout in 
three hauls.’ 

Prince Christian, the ranger of Windsor Park, con- 
tinued to take a lively interest in his pursuits. 

1 February 6. — To Zoological Gardens with Prince 
Christian and the Duke of Schleswig-Holstein. Bartlett 
did the honours. I recommended certain deer and birds 
for the royal parks.’ 

c 9th . — Prince Christian and the Duke of Schleswig- 
Holstein came to my museum. They were there two 
hours; explained everything to them, and they were 
much pleased. Lee showed circulation of the salmon’s 
blood under the microscope. Rolfe brought down some of 
his painted fish.’ 

Many foreign professors and pisciculturists also visited 
him, and were taken over his museum. He entertained 
other notabilities. 

c February 25, 1869. — With Lee to see the new giantess 
and the Siamese Twins. 

c March 3. — Gave party to the Siamese Twins and Miss 
Swan the giantess. The Siamese highly intelligent people 
and seemed much pleased with their visit. 

£ April 4. — Lee asked me to see the giantess and 
Siamese Twins ; found them looking very seedy and 
unwell. 

‘ 5 th . — Called on the giantess and Siamese Twins ; found 
them better.’ 

His opinion was now sought on all Bills relating to his 
special subjects. 



ABOUT FISH, BEASTS, AND BIRDS 



229 



In 1862 a Scotch Fishery Act liacl been passed, under 
which Mr. Archibald Young had been appointed Com- 
missioner of Scotch Salmon Fisheries. This Act was 
amended in 1868. Frank Buckland was consulted by the 
Home Office, and by others interested in the Scotch 
Fisheries, both as to the passing and the carrying out of 
the new Act. 

In 1869 he gave evidence before a Committee of the 
House of Commons to consider the amendment of the 
English Fisheries law. 1 A tremendous pull ; kept my 
brain as steady as I could, and, thank heaven, answered 
very straight.’ The Committee sat again in 1870, and 
their report resulted in an amendment Act of that year. 

Another Bill r for the preservation of sea-birds, was 
framed in great measure through his influence. All living 
things aquatic seemed to have his special sympathy, 
and the purposeless destruction of sea-birds, for the mere 
pleasure of killing, moved his indignation. 

A public meeting, held on March 10, 1869, to enlist 
popular sympathy, was chiefly organised by him. The 
Duke of Northumberland, Mr. C. Sykes, and many 
others took interest in this Bill, which after a good 
deal of discussion was passed, and proved a precursor of 
others of a like character for the protection of land-birds, 
and many a bird on sea and land will owe their lives to 
him. 

This year a fresh edition of Dean Buckland’s ‘ Bridge- 
water Treatise’ was brought out, prefaced with a bio- 
graphical sketch, written, like so much of his literary work, 
in the train, while journeying to inspect some fishery. 

1 September 6, 1869. — By morning train to York; 



230 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 






wrote tlie Dean’s life in the train all the way; finished it 
just as we got to York.’ 

In October 1869, when the Serpentine water of Hyde 
Park was cleaned out, Frank Buckland superintended the 
transfer of the fish from the Serpentine to the ltound Pond 
in Kensington Gardens, a novel day’s fishing. £ On arriving 
at the Serpentine, everything and everybody was ready fox- 
work. An old fisherman from Hammersmith had been 
engaged, with his nets, which were worked from one of the 
ordinary row-boats of the Serpentine. It is very extraordi- 
nary how a London mob finds out when anything is going on. 
When we first arrived at the place of meeting, thei-e were 
very few people present, and we made our first haul on to 
the bank ; but by the time we had got the net on shore, so 
many people had assembled, and they pushed down the bank 
so heavily on us, that it was almost impossible to do any 
work at all. The first sweep of the net brought to shore 
an enormous shoal of sticklebacks and a few small l-oach. 
As the net came nearer to the land the sticklebacks began 
. to dance into the air and over the net, glittering in the sun 
like a shower of silver spangles. The crowd hailed our 
first haul with a shout of derision, mixed with groans from 
the small boys, who had come with their pickle bottles, 
worsted threads, and worms to enjoy their usual morning’s 
fishing. These little wretches were exceedingly indignant 
at our proceedings. “ Jimmy,” said a little urchin to his 
fellow-angler, “ we’d better go home again, the gents is 
killing all the tittlers.” ’ 1 Three water-carts were brought 
down, and as the fish were taken out of the net they were 
transferred in buckets to the carts. The day’s work was 
1 Log Book of a Fisherman and Zoologist, p. 151. 



ABOUT FISH, BEASTS, AND BIRDS 



231 



not without incident. The old fisherman was nearly en- 
gulphed in the mud of the Serpentine, some five or six feet 
deep ; ‘ at every step he took he went farther in, floundering 
about like a great hippopotamus. Two or three j oined hands 
with me, and, advancing into the mud at the end of a chain, 
1 caught hold of the old man’s hand, and with a “ one, two 
three and away ! ” we gave a good pull at him, and he came 
suddenly out of the mud with a “ flop ” like a cork out of a 
wine-bottle.’ A water-cart upset in the Round Pond, sending 
one of the party clean under water. He came up in a 
second blowing like a grampus, but not much hurt. They 
worked till after dark, thoroughly wet through. The total 
result was eleven water-carts full of living fish ; this, averag- 
ing each cart-load at 500 fish little and big, would make 
over 5,000 fish. The great majority of these fish were 
little roach from two to four inches long 5 with, perhaps, 
200 or 300 large roach, the largest weighing 2 lbs. There 
were also some Prussian and Crucian carp and tench. One 
eel was caught, and but one perch, and he was a cripple, for 
his upper jaw was rounded into a knob like an apple, and 
his deformed face looked like a pantomime mask. The largest 
fish caught were bream ; the biggest weighing 5^ lbs. Four 
very fat and red gold fish, three large bleak, and one big 
gudgeon completed the list, with one little trout, the sole 
survivor of a family of little “ Great Lake trout ” put into 
the Serpentine two years before. 

The habits of animals, of which Frank Buckland was 
ever observant, were constantly discussed in ‘ Land and 
Water.’ One question mooted at this time was whether 
deer in a park, although clever enough to know the dif- 
ference between the fowling-piece and the rifle when 



232 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



in the keeper’s hands, had sufficient thinking power to 
look up into a tree when their enemy is concealed therein. 

‘ The position of the eye in animals,’ Frank Buckland 
wrote, ‘is a subject exceedingly interesting and well worthy 
of consideration. The eyes of the ox, horse, sheep, deer, &c., 
are placed in the side of the head, for the simple reason that 
they gain their food by cropping the grass as they go along, 
and that they may be enabled to see their enemies, which for 
the most part are ground-living quadrupeds like them- 
selves, and would attack them on the same level on which 
they themselves stand. I do not think the deer depends 
much on its power of vision for safety. Nature always 
balances her powers, at the same time giving the predomi- 
nance of development to one particular sense. Thus the 
eagle depends upon his telescopic eye to find his food, 
while the mole has very small eyes, but very sensitive 
organs of smell. The deer trusts more to his senses of 
smell and hearing than he does to sight. Witness the 
beautiful ears of the animal, always in motion when 
danger is suspected ; these ears are active sentinels, awake 
to the slightest sound, while the nostrils test the flavour of 
the wind as it passes ; so that if the enemy were near, the 
deer would ascertain his presence either by the sense of 
sound or smell sooner than he would by sight. When 
watching the deer feeding in Windsor Park, I have ob- 
served that their eyes are so placed in their head, as to 
command a certain circle of pasture in front of them. 
Imagine the light of a bullseye thrown on a pavement, and 
you will have an illustration of what I mean. When the 
deer either lifts his head or lies down, his focus of vision 
remains the same ; and in the ordinary course I think a 



ABOUT FISH, BEASTS, AND BIRDS 



233 



deer seldom, if ever, looks above him, because (except when 
the sportsman perches himself in a tree) there is nothing 
particular to see ; therefore if a man were concealed in a 
tree, the deer would probably pass underneath without 
finding him out. It is not the deer alone that leave 
people sitting in trees undisturbed ; for have we not seen 
pictures innumerable of King Charles II., with his gold 
crown on his head, literally “ up a tree,” while the 
soldiers are gaping about at the foot of the tree, looking 
in every direction but the right ? Soldiers, we know, are 
told to look “ Eyes right,” “ Eyes front ” ; but there is no 
word of command, “ Eyes upwards.” ’ 

In order to throw some light on the question of deer 
looking upwards, I have been making an anatomical ex- 
amination of the head of a deer from Richmond Park. 
The anatomical structure and condition of the parts about 
the head lead me to the same conclusions. In the 
head we find three sentinels, which are given to the 

animal to warn it of danger from its enemies : these 

sentinels are the nose, the eye, and the ear. The 

question now arises, which is the most active of these 

sentinels ? The ear is a wonderful acoustic trumpet six 
inches long, and nearly four wide ; the great outspread 
sound-attracting apparatus terminates in a tube about 
the size of a cedar pencil, which conveys the sound to a 
marvellous arrangement of bones in the internal ear. 
There can, therefore, be no doubt but that the deer 
depends very much upon his sense of hearing to warn him 
of his enemy. We next come to the eye. Although lustrous 
and beautifully set in the head, I do not consider the eye to 
approach either to the ear or nose in its capacity of monitor 



234 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



of approaching mischief. The pupil, instead of being 
round as in the human subject, is more or less elliptical ; in 
the dead animal it is simply a broad slit ; hence I conclude 
it is more of a nocturnal than a diurnal eye. The eye in 
itself is very small, and only weighed one ounce ; the lens 
is exceedingly transparent and crystalline, and the retina 
painted a beautiful green colour, not unlike that of the sea- 
mouse ; the optic nerve is about the size of a large wheat- 
straw. Compared to the optic nerves of some fish, or those 
of the lion, this wonderful self-acting telegraph is in a 
comparatively undeveloped state. The eye itself is fixed 
deep into the orbit ; the upper lid is considerably larger 
than the lower ; there is a pent-house of long and stiff eye- 
lashes, extending the whole length of the upper lid ; the 
eyelashes on the lower lid are comparatively undeveloped ; 
the portion of the skull immediately over the eye forms a 
kind of flat table, which also projects over the eye itself. 
Upon its edge are placed several long and outspreading 
hairs forming the eyebrow. From the general appearance 
of the eye and its structure, ,1 come to the conclusion 
that it is exceedingly difficult for deer to look upwards ; 
so the facts observed by sportsmen, that deer do not 
look upwards, are fully accounted for by the anatomical 
structure of the beast. We now come to the nose. The 
nostril itself will admit the top of the forefinger easily. 
The bone which covers the nasal organ is exceedingly 
thin. Upon taking it off I find a most wonderful ap- 
paratus for enabling the deer to smell. It consists of 
two pear-shaped bones, the structure of which is like 
the thinnest film of wax. Upon these bones the delicate 
nerves of smell are outspread, so as to become cognisant of 



ABOUT FISH, BEASTS, AND BIRDS 



235 



the slightest scent which may be wafted by the air. I at 
once make bold to state that we human beings cannot 
possibly have any notion of the acute power of smell pos- 
sessed by the deer. It is simply impossible that we can 
have, because the structure of our nose is far less compli- 
cated and developed than in the deer. Perhaps this is 
lucky in these days, when pollutions and unpleasant odours 
of all kinds are met at every turn. I place, therefore, 
the organs of sense in the deer’s head in the following 
order of development and use to their owner: — -1. The 
nose. 2. The ear. 3. The eye. These facts may be 
useful to deer-stalkers, who, if desirous to approach a 
suspicious deer, should, (1), run the chances of the deer 
“ seeing ” them rather than, (2), u hearing ” them. Above 
all, they should avoid the deer, (3), getting notice of their 
presence by the organ of smell.’ 

The domestic circle of pets in Albany Street was 
always maintained. In a large cage by the fire, or, if 
invalided, sitting in the fender and warming their hands 
at the blaze, lived a succession of monkeys : The Hag, 
Jenny, Tiny, Carroty Jane, and Little Jack, whose his- 
tories have successively been told. Woe to the coat-tails 
or flounces which approached too near the cage ; and when 
play-time came and the monkeys were let loose, and chased 
each other over book-case, table, and mantel-piece, great 
was the scrimmage ! A dynasty of suricates, Jemmy the 
first, second, and third, cantered about the floor, or sat up 
and begged for food. Their rat-like portraiture will be 
found in ‘ Notes and Jottings.’ 1 Sometimes a Mongoose, 
sometimes a Galego, entered the family, and often a sick 
1 Notes and Jottings from Animal Life , p. 24. 



236 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



Marmozet, or some wilder creature, was sent from the 
Zoological Gardens, to be nursed into health. The pets 
had not lost their inconvenient faculty of straying, causing 
sorrowful entries in the Journal, such as, ‘ The Galego got 
loose ; great row with people at No. 49 about it, the beast 
having broken so many ornaments.’ 

For some time a magnificent dog, Arslan, a Turkish 
wolf-hound, adorned the household. Gentle and obedient, 
even to John the small page, Arslan had one weak- 
ness — he could not abide small dogs ; one nip, one shake, 
and the small dog was lifeless. He was nearly broken of 
this habit, when one day he strayed into a neighbouring 
garden, where, at an open window, sat a lady with her lap- 
dog in her lap : one bound, one shake, and the lap-dog 
was no more, the lady in hysterics, expecting momentarily 
to be herself devoured. John fetched away the monster ; 
but the lady would not be appeased. Arslan was sent to 
the guard-ship on the Herne Bay oyster-beds, under sentence 
of transportation for life. 



237 



CHAPTER XI. 

SCOTCH FISHERIES, AND CORRESPONDENCE : 1870-1872. 

In 1870, considering that the short space of eight years 
only had been accorded to the protection of Scdmonidce , 
the multiplication of these fish had, according to the 
report for this year, been very striking. 1 The United 
Kingdom,’ the report continues, c undoubtedly stands pre- 
eminent among European States in the progress of salmon 
culture ; and it is to our laws that France, Prussia, Sweden, 
Norway, and even Canada and the United States, have 
looked, and will look, for a model of legislation based upon 
experience and accurate scientific knowledge.’ 

The still more valuable fisheries of Scotland had never 
been neglected like those of England and Ireland ; but in 
proportion to their value did they merit care, and as a 
result of the Parliamentary inquiry of 1869, to which 
Frank Buck land contributed his experience, an inquiry 
was directed by the Home Office into the effect of the 
Acts of 1862 and 1868 on the Scotch fisheries, and Frank 
Buckland and Mr. Archibald Young were appointed to 
conduct the inquiry. 

The months of May, August, and September in this 
year were spent in the examination of the Scotch fisheries, 
and in the following year a report upon them was pre- 
sented, the result of much hard work, elaborate written 



238 



LIFE OF FRANK EUCKLAND 



inquiries, and careful personal inspection of forty-six 
Scotch rivers. The benefits of the recent legislation were 
clear, but various improvements were suggested. 

With regard to the cultivation of English rivers, Frank 
Buckland saw clearly, that the seemingly conflicting in- 
terests which, selfishly pursued, had ruined the salmon 
fisheries, could be reconciled without injury to any ; and 
he strove unceasingly, and with no little success, to unite 
all classes in a common belief, to him plain as an axiom, 
that each and all were interested in the preservation of 
salmon. 

The destruction of young salmon, he urged in his re- 
port of 1870 not only exposed the offenders to penalties, 
but by wilfully destroying the fry, when in an undeveloped 
state and unsaleable, they were seriously injuring their 
own pockets 5 ‘it is as foolish an act as slaughtering and 
throwing away chickens with their feathers first appear- 
ing, instead of allowing them to grow into poultry worth 
several shillings a couple.’ 

‘ Millowners who refuse passage for the fish to the 
higher waters should recollect that, unless fish are bred, 
they cannot be caught; and that, if a just proportion of 
fish are let up during the proper fishing season, the upper 
people will take greater care to preserve them during the 
spawning time. 

‘ I do not suppose the miller would have any objec- 
tion to the mill wheel being protected by a grating from 
sucking in the descending salmon, as it would not inter- 
fere with the action of his wheel, and the lives of many 
kelts would be saved, which would probably reappear as 
very heavy salmon at a future time.’ 



SCOTCH FISHERIES, AND CORRESPONDENCE 239 

As to the ever-varying problem of fish-passes, his 
advice was characteristic : ‘ There are but three possible- 
ways by which the passage of a weir may be effected by 
the fish; first, over the weir; second, through the weir; and 
third, round the weir. In contriving or altering a pass, 
it will be found to be a useful plan for the observer to 
imagine himself to be a salmon , and consider which of these 
three ways would be best for him to adopt. The natural 
road for the fish to take is over the weir, and it is for this 
reason that we see the fish jumping at it ; but it must not 
be forgotten, that, if proper means be used, we can induce 
the fish to adopt almost any other road we think fit, 
provided always we place structures built in accordance 
with their powers of locomotion and the dictates of their 
instincts.’ 

And thoroughly did he carry out this principle, be- 
coming as an inspector almost amphibious ; wading the 
pools below the weirs, feeling the force and direction of the 
current, and striving, so far as is possible to man, to enter 
into the feelings of a salmon. No wonder, then, when it 
was publicly stated, that in his evidence before the House 
of Commons, he had leaned rather to the interests of the 
millers than to the interests of the salmon fisheries, 
he protested that his statements had either been mis- 
construed or not understood. c Having placed myself as 
a shield over the salmon interests, I have, as is the fate of 
shields, received most of the arrows.’ 

In that evidence his ideas as to the construction and 
position of salmon-ladders were fully detailed. The models 
then exhibited are to be seen in his museum. Since he 
had given his evidence in August 1869, seven weirs had, 



240 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



within his own experience, been successfully made passable 
for fish, by one or other of the plans he had suggested; and 
nearly fifty passes, most, if not all of which were working 
efficiently, had been erected since he and Mr. Walpole had 
held office, and several others had been greatly improved. 

Against river pollutions he continued to lift up his voice, 
telling the people of Gloucester, that the Chinese, who used 
everything in the way of manure, called us barbarians, 
perhaps because we poured our sewage into the rivers. A 
calculation had been made, that the utilisation of our 
sewage would produce four hundred and five million 
loaves of bread, enough to nourish five millions of people 
for a year. Thousands a year are paid for guano from the 
South Sea Islands, while we waste what we have at our 
own doors. ‘Take the pollutions from the river, where 
they are doing harm, and place them on the land, where 
they would be doing good.’ 

Returning from the North, after commencing the 
Scotch Inquiry, Frank Buckland wrote his ‘ Impressions of 
Scotland.’ 

1 1 always write in the railway, and long habit has 
enabled me to do this with great facility. I am now on my 
'road south, after much hard work examining rivers on 
the east coast of Scotland with my co-commissioner, Mr. 
Archibald Young. We have just passed Berwick, and the 
engine has got up her running (and splendid running it is) 
for Newcastle. I shall therefore pass away the time by 
putting down on paper some of my impressions of Scotland 
before they are dulled by the racket of London life and 
business. 

‘ I am exceedingly pleased with Scotland and the Scots. 



SCOTCH FISHERIES, AND CORRESPONDENCE 241 



The people are kind-hearted, most hospitable, and, above 
all, highly intelligent; everybody seems to be educated. 
In all the towns and villages I visited, regularly every 
morning the streets were crowded with children going to 
school at 9 o’clock, not creeping along according to the 
old adage — 

The fatal morn arrives, and 0 ! 

The 'weeping youth to school must go — 

but stepping along with an active and light gait, as though 
learning was worth having. At Dumfries, I especially 
noticed the door of an infant school. There was a regular 
swarm of little urchins playing about until the clock struck, 
and in they went like bees into a hive. Few, if any, of these 
little things had shoes and stockings. They were all 
exceedingly cleanly dressed, and their hair nicely brushed 
and oiled. Girls seemed to get their share of education as 
well as the boys. I went by an afternoon train from Perth 
to Dundee to examine the fish-market there. At every 
station along the road, one, two, or three boys and girls 
got out with their bag or strap full of books. They were 
returning from the schools at Perth. They went in by 
themselves in the morning and came out at night, and this 
every working day in the year. 

‘ Few of the children in the smaller towns and villages 
wear shoes and stockings. An excellent custom ; it saves 
expense, and makes them healthy. The more you walk 
upon shoe leather the thinner it gets, the more you walk 
upon human leather the thicker it gets. I examined the 
soles of the feet of some fisher girls who were going out to 
collect mussels at Finhorn ; the skin was as thick and as 
hard as the foot of an elephant. 

R 



242 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



1 1 saw very few kilts — in more than one month only 
nine — for I counted them. Why are kilts not worn in 
Scotland ? At Nairn they told me, that, if you saw a man 
in a kilt in Scotland, you might be quite sure he was an 
Englishman. About Peterhead, the peasants had peculiar 
wrinkles like crow’s feet round their eyes, which they kept 
partially shut, after the manner of Esquimaux in the 
pictures. A lady told me that these features were caused 
by the people, for generation after generation, being 
obliged, by the bleak climate and exposure, to pucker up 
their eyes, to keep out the snow in winter and the dust in 
summer. Here, then, is a crow’s (foot) to pick for Mr. 
Darwin, a case of cause and effect. 

‘ We drove from Peterhead to Banff, a terrible dreary 
and open place, nothing to look at but the rooks — they 
call them crows in Scotland — and the peewits. I thought 
of plovers’ eggs on Epsom race-course. There are so many 
peewits, that I do not think the Scots know how good 
plovers’ eggs are, and that they are worth threepence 
each in London. I did not tell anybody of this fact, or 
the poor Scotch plovers would not thank me for my kind- 
ness. Hens’ eggs used formerly to be very cheap in 
Scotland ; an old lady told me that she used to give three- 
pence a dozen for them ; when her mother, who was 
English, came to the country, hens’ eggs were one penny 
per dozen ; she thought this too little, so she gave the 
“ wife ” three half-pence, and her husband scolded her for 
her extravagance. This was at Nairn : it happened to be 
market-day when we reached Nairn, and about 5 o clock 
in the evening. There was a crowd of women selling 
dried haddocks; a great proportion of the diet of the 



SCOTCH FISHERIES, AND CORRESPONDENCE 243 

Scotch people seems to be Finnon baddies ; at least it was my 
lot to have haddocks in some shape or form for breakfast, 
and generally also for lunch and dinner, every day whilst 
I was in Scotland. There must be enormous numbers of 
these fish in the sea off the east coast of Scotland, and the 
mussel scalps are in consequence of very great value to 
the fishermen, who preserve them most carefully. 

‘ The fishermen of Nairn are of a peculiar class, like the 
fishermen of the Claddaugh in Galway ; they keep entirely 
to themselves, and they all have what they call “Tee names, ’ 
and this Tee name is affixed to their proper name : as 
John Main (Daish) ; John Jamieson (Joe) ; Robert Main 
(Cogs) ; James Main (Collie) ; William Main (Sailor) ; David 
Main (Sergeant); Alexander Main (Skipper); John Main 
(Downie) ; Hugh Main (Buckie) ; Robert Main (William’s 
son). 

‘ All the members of the same family have the same Tee 
name. In one fishing boat there were no less than seven men 
every one of whom was a “ David Main,” hence the neces- 
sity of Tee names, to distinguish one person from the other. 

‘ I suddenly came upon about twenty or thirty old fish- 
wives; they were sitting round a corner on the sand 
warming themselves, and waiting for the boats, which I 
could see in the distance, to come ashore with haddocks 
from Cromarty Bay. They were all knitting and all 
talking; my appearance made them suddenly silent; 
however, we soon made friends. I told them I wanted a 
specimen of a Scotch fish-wife for my museum ; “ Who will 
come ? ” said I. “ I will,” “ I will,” said all of them jumping 
up in a body. I was frightened at so many offers from so 
many fair ladies, and bolted like a shot. They all rushed 



LIFE OF FRANK AUCKLAND 



214 

after me shouting and holloing, and the oldest and ugliest 
very nearly caught me. But I was too quick, so she 
threw her fish creel after me, with a wild hooroo.’ 

On April 19, 1870, news arrived of the capture of a 
salmon at Gravesend. ‘ Went directly and called upon Mr. 

W , who was very kind and civil, and let me have the 

salmon for 21. Gs. 0 cl. The people thought it was a dead 
child I was carrying through the streets. Took the salmon 
to the A then mum smoking-room ; wrote a letter to the 
“ Times ’* about him. 

‘ 20 th . — To Windsor with the salmon. Down the 
Thames in steamboat of Board of Conservators. Called 
upon Prince Christian at Frogmore, and showed him the 
salmon. 

‘ 21s£. — Sent salmon off to the Museum. Neville tells 
me an enormous number of people came to see the salmon. 

£ 23rd. — Cast the Thames salmon five times. Took one 
of the casts down to the Royal Society. 

1 29 th. — Sir R. Murchison’s soiree. Took down cast of 
group of lizards and puff adder, and the Thames salmon ; 
all much admii'ed.’ 

The Museum continued to occupy both thought and 
labour. 

‘ June 20. — Cast big 70 lb. salmon ; took me from 10 to 3 
to do it.’ This is the largest salmon in the Museum. 

‘ July 16. — Took cab-load of things down to Museum ; 
worked at Museum from 11 to 8 ; very tired. 

< July 20. — Took another lot of things to the Museum : 
worked there very hard, nearly all day : place getting into 
a little order. 

< 23rd. — Took down a cab-load of things to the Museum ; 



SCOTCH FISHERIES, AND CORRESPONDENCE 245 



worked very hard putting up casts. Prince Buonaparte 
there. Museum is now pretty fair and straight. 

One summer day in this July, when making new 
arrangements for the trout-breeding establishment in 
Windsor Great Park, Frank Buckland observed the ground, 
about twenty yards from where he was standing, in 
motion. The water from the hatching troughs runs down 
a ditch, and it was on one side of this ditch that the earth 
was moving. ‘ I at once dropped on my knees,’ he says. ‘ I 
perceived that a mole was looking for his luncheon, and 
not being able to dig through the hardened earth of the 
Park, was trying his luck along the softer ground by the 
side of the ditch. Having taken a good survey of the 
place, I made a circuit, and crawled on hands and knees 
to the top of the bank opposite Mr. Mole. He must have 
heard me coming, for he at once struck off work. In about 
a minute he began again, and I could just see his dark fur 
among the green sward ; taking a good aim, I jumped from 
the bank right in front of him. Never yet was a mole so 
surprised ; he wheeled about at once, and began to sink 
into the earth like a hot knife into a pat of butter. Nature 
has given a mole a tail — I wonder if he ever wags it. 
Turning quickly, I was just in time to catch hold of his 
tail, and then came a game of pull mole, pull inspector. 
The little rascal fought hard for liberty, and putting out 
his great broad spade-like fore-paws, stuck as tight in his 
hole, as an oak trenail in a ship’s plank. I had then to 
pass a stick down under him and lever him out. When I 
held him up by his tail he tried to bite, but he did not 
utter any noise or cry, from which I conclude that the mole 
has no cry. If he had, he surely would have piped his 



246 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



whistle when in distress. The next thing to do was to 
secure the prisoner ; so I tied a bit of official red tape round 
his leg, and looked about for something in which to carry 
him home. A pocket-handkerchief he would soon have 
scratched and eaten into holes ; so I emptied the cigars out 
of my big leathern cigar-case, and for the precious weeds 
substituted taljpes vulgaris. After he had got his wind, 
Mr. Mole became very lively, and kicked up a fine rumpus 
in the cigar-case, but I got him safe to the house of my 
friend Mr. Menzies. We then paraded him on the lawn, 
and he tried very hard to dig himself into the earth, and 
succeeded in making a tunnel or two, but the red tape on 
his leg went into the hole as fast as he did, and showed 
us his whereabouts. I borrowed a biscuit tin, in which 
I carried my prisoner up to town, and in the train had 
plenty of time to make a careful examination of his habits 
and peculiarities. In the first place, he is tremendously 
strong. The limbs, which answer to hands in the human 
subject, are literally earth paddles. They are worked by 
an enormous mass of muscles ; in fact, I was reminded of 
the pectoral muscles of a bird, which work the wings 
with such ease aud velocity. The digging paws of a mole 
may indeed be said to be wings, only that they fly through 
stiff earth, not elastic air. The snout of the mole is very 
long and tapered ; the tip of it is of a bright pink colour, 
and the beast moves it about with the same facility as an 
elephant moves his proboscis. It is altogether not unlike 
the nose of a pig, and it is made to do the same work, that 
is, to rout in the ground, and to dig up food. 

‘My mole frequently during the railway journey climbed 
up to the edge of his tin-box, and looked me straight 



SCOTCH FISHERIES, AND CORRESPONDENCE 247 

in the face, as much as to say, “Who in the name of 
Herne the Hunter (whom I often meet at the dead of night 
when out worm-catching in Windsor Forest) are you? 
Confound my tail ! I wish I was like a guinea-pig, and had 
no tail, and then you could not have caught me. Look 
you in the face, why not ? Can’t you see I have as good 
a pair of eyes as you have ? Please observe them ; nature 
has parted my hair all round them so as to form a circle, 
and when I like I can close up the hairs, so that un- 
observant people can’t find them, and then they insult me 
and my family by saying, as ‘ blind as a mole.’ Now, Mr. 
Inspector, I am glad for one reason you have caught me. 
If you will allow me the ‘ Lancet ’ newspaper, which I 
see sticking out of your travelling-bag, I will read you a 
passage : you see, I do not want spectacles to make out 
print — Dr. R. L. Lee has published a paper in the Pro- 
ceedings of the Royal Society on the organs of vision in 
the mole, in which, after ably describing the anatomy of 
my optic nerve, he says, 1 It will thus be seen that the eye 
of the mole presents us with an instance of an organ which 
is rudimentary, not by the retention of foetal characters, 
or to use a better term, arrest of development, but through 
disuse, aided perhaps by natural selection.’ Now just tell 
Dr. Lee that it is nothing of the kind, and that my 
ancestors, who annoyed the 1 grand old gardener,’ Adam, by 
digging up his grass plots in the Garden of Paradise, had 
just the same-sized eyes, neither larger nor smaller than I 
have. The same great wisdom that gave me ‘ earth paddles,’ 
a routing nose, and a fur which — look for yourself — cannot 
be rumpled, but which is smooth, whether I am going 
forwards or backwards in my burrow, and that made my 



24.8 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



teeth the most beautiful set of insectivorous teeth among 
animals, also made my eye fit for the work it has to do. 
I have been designed to prey upon earth-worms ; the 
worms will not come up to the surface to me, so I must 
go down into the earth to them ; for this work my eyes 
are fitted, and I defy any philosophers in the world to 
disprove this.” 5 

In September 1870 he went to a penny wax- work show 
in Scotland. 1 An awful place ! The advertisement at the 
door in the street is a wax Abraham as large as life, killing 
a wax Isaac : you should see Isaac’s face ! Inside is the 
Judgment of Solomon ; a wax soldier in an old Life Guard’s 
cuirass with a baby in his hand, held by its heel, while 
he is going to split the baby with a carving knife like 
a man splits a salmon for kipper : the baby is crying glass 
tears ! Then there is Noah coming out of the Ark ; Shem, 
Ham, and Japhet in Scotch kilts ! All the rest of the wax- 
works consists of murderers, misers, and villains of all 
kinds, a splendid army of vagabonds, commanded by a 
wax poet Burns, whose face is like the wax gentleman in 
the barber’s shop, and would be better for some rouge.’ 

Once, about this time, he found even a superfluity of fish. 

A milk woman, not far from Albany Street, served out 
at the door a pennyworth of milk, and in the milk jug the 
servant girl found a live stickleback swimming about. When 
the fish, all alive, oh ! was shown to the old woman, she turned 
round to her boy and boxed his ears. 1 Jimmy, oh ! Jimmy, 
you lazy rascal,’ she said ; £ you never strained the water.’ 

Some time in the same autumn, Frank Buckland added 
another monkey to his family of pets ; but even he could 
not always compose the jealousies of that happy family. 



SCOTCH FISHERIES, AND CORRESPONDENCE 249 

< I received,’ he says, ‘ a note to say that a spider- 
monkey was for sale. The price asked was extravagant 
as usual, but I eventually obtained it. My new pet was, 
without exception, the ugliest monkey I ever beheld ; he 
had been christened by the name of " Nigger a most ap- 
propriate name, for he was as black as a coal, and about 
as lazy as I have understood niggers generally are. Nigger 
had no thumbs, only four fingers, which seemed to act in 
concert very much like the hooks that we find in the sloth. 
If, however, he had no thumbs, he had a tail, and the 
thumbs seemed to have been by nature transferred to the 
tip of the tail, for the under surface of the tail, for the 
length of four or five inches, was covered with thin skin of 
the same character as that which lined the inside of the 
fingers, the consequence being that his tail was prehensile 
in the truest sense of the word. I know this from ex- 
perience, because when Nigger had his tail round my neck 
it was difficult to release myself from his grasp. Nigger 
seemed to know he was ugly, and that it was the only point 
upon which he could claim anybody’s consideration ; when- 
ever therefore a stranger came in, he made a pitiful face, 
and stretched out his long skinny arms in a supplicating 
manner, as much as to say, “ I am only poor Nigger. I 
cannot help being black and ugly ; don’t be unkind to me.” 

‘ When I got home we let him loose, and the first 
thing he did was to rush to the fire, and sit on the fender 
wagging his tail, nodding his head, and grinning like one 
of Christy’s minstrels. My two little monkeys Susey and 
the Hag were exceedingly indignant when Nigger was 
brought to my house. It was very amusing to watch the 
Hag’s countenance, when she saw the intruder’s queer 



250 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



antics. They made fearful faces at him, and when let out 
of their cages, began a system of persecution amusing to 
lookers-on, but unpleasant for Nigger. At last I found it 
impossible to preserve peace with the three monkeys, so I 
did a little bit of dealing in “ Black Ivory ” as slave- 
dealing was called, and sold poor Nigger. He was care- 
fully packed up and sent to Paddington. When they 
opened his packing-case at the Zoological Gardens, Bristol, 
poor Nigger was found dead at the bottom of the box ! I 
never could find out what killed him, but I have a strong 
idea he was suffocated. Poor beast ! ’ 

‘December 17, 1870. — My birthday. I am very thankful 
to God to- allow me so much prosperity and happiness on 
my forty-fourth birthday, and that I have been enabled to 
work so well. I trust He may spare me for many more 
years to go on with my work.’ 

New problems in fish-culture had to be solved. It 
was discovered that a considerable export of unclean and 
unseasonable salmon, although prohibited, took place from 
Ireland to France. Frank Buckland applied in turn to the 
police courts in London, and to the custom-houses of London, 
Bristol, Folkestone, and Dover with but little effect, until, 
at his instance, an Act was passed, giving to custom-house 
officers a right of search for unseasonable fish, which stopped 
the illegal trade. It then appeared that unseasonable fish 
were also frequently sold in the London market. After a 
successful prosecution of one offender, the leading fish 
salesmen came to the inspectors’ aid, and voluntarily gave 
up a considerable amount of unwholesome fish consigned 
to them for sale. 

Another curious difficulty arose from the increase in 



SCOTCH FISHERIES, AND CORRESPONDENCE 251 

some rivers, especially the Coquet in Northumberland, of 
bull-trout ( Salmo Eriox ) to the prejudice and even exter- 
mination of the more valuable salmon (Salmo Solar). 

c It appears to me,’ he wrote in his report for 1870, 

< that the increase of bull-trout may be attributed to 
several causes. "We men must confess that, if we interfere 
with the ordinary course of nature, corresponding changes 
will ensue, without any opinion on the point being re- 
quested from the human race. I give an example of this ; 
the increase of wood-pigeons is principally due to the 
over-preservation of game. Hawks are shot down in 
order that pheasants may be preserved : the consequence 
is that, the natural enemy of the wood-pigeon being 
destroyed, they at once increase, in a ratio which could 
not take place, if the hawks, the natural check upon their 
undue increase, were allowed to continue their natural 
functions of keeping down their numbers. It is useful to 
take this example which can be seen, because we cannot 
see what goes on under the water, we can only argue from 
results. The increase of wood-pigeons is somewhat ana- 
logous to the increase of bull-trout : man has interfered 
with the ordinary balance of nature. We must also 
remember that a struggle for existence is continually going 
on among races of animals. Thus the red-legged partridge 
has gained the ascendency over the common partridge. 
Again, the old British black rat has died out gradually 
before the Norway rat, the former being now but rarely 
found in the British Isles : and the evil may assume even 
greater dimensions, for fear is entertained that the rabbits 
introduced into Australia, and now extending themselves 
into parts of the country not sufficiently populated to keep 



252 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



them clown, may eventually do serious mischief to the 
sheep, not only by devouring their food, but by tainting 
the ground.’ 

So after an inquiry duly held at Alnwick, it was decided, 
with the consent of the Home Secretary, to declare war 
against the bull-trout in the Coquet, in favour of the salmon. 

For five years the war was hotly waged ; more than 

70.000 bull-trout were slain, weighing over 131 tons, while 
many thousand salmon were bred artificially in the upper 
waters. But nature- declared herself on the side of the 
bull-trout, which multiplied in spite of the slaughter, while 
the salmon showed no inclination to return. An army of 

50.000 bull-trout swarmed up the river in the fifth year, 
and ate up all the little salmon ; so the allies of the salmon 
abandoned the contest, and the bull-trout were left in 
undisputed possession of the territory they had conquered. 

How great is the fecundity of fish is shown by the 
following table of the number of ova in different species, 
as found by Frank Buckland’s observations : — 



Name of 'Pish 


Weight of Pish 


No. of Eggs 


Salmon 1 

Trout .... 
Carp .... 
Perch .... 

Jack .... 

>>•••• 
Poach .... 
Conger Eel . 

Smelt .... 
Lump Fish . 


lbs. ozs. 
12 
1 

14* 

3" 2 

1 

2 

28 

32 

4* 

3 

7 

28 

2 

2 


10,000 

1,008 

633,350 

155,620 

20,592 

292,320 

595,200 

42,840 

480,480 

15,191,040 

36.652 

116,640 



1 The average number of eggs in a salmon is 850 to each pound 
weight. 



SCOTCH FISHERIES, AND CORRESPONDENCE 253 



Dilio-ent care of salmon did not lessen Frank Buck- 
land’s interest in curiosities of his own species. 

‘Among the distinguished visitors to London at this 
time of the year,’ he wrote in May 1871, £ we have now 
among us a strange party from the other side of the 
Atlantic. This party consists of Miss Swan the giantess ; 
Christine Millie, or “ the Two-headed Nightingale ; ” and 
Captain Martin Van Buren Bates the giant. 

1 It is rather awkward to write a personal description of 
a lady, particularly as she will probably read what I write ; 
however, I make bold to say that Miss Swan is the most 
agreeable, good-looking giantess I ever met ; by her side I 
feel but a pigmy, for she towers far above my head ; and an 
ordinary tall man, say a Life Guardsman, would look like 
a doll by her side. One never dares ask the age of ladies, 
nor their height either. Miss Swan is somewhere between 
seven and eight feet. I cannot say the exact height to an 
inch, but it is nearer eight than seven ; at a guess (I hope 
Miss S. will forgive me) I should say seven feet six or 
seven inches is about the mark. Header, look at the door 
of your room ; Miss Swan has to bend her head consider- 
ably to enter an ordinary door ; or mark out eight feet on 
the wall by sticking up a queen’-s head letter stamp, the 
top of the young lady’s head will be a few inches below 
this mark. Miss Swan is a native of Nova Scotia, is ladv- 
like in manners and address, and would be a most agreeable 
neighbour at a dinner-party. In talking to her, however, 
every now and then her tremendous stature strikes me, 
and when she stands up she looks like a female Goliath. 
I should be sorry to have to pay her milliner’s bill, for her 
dress would cover a small haystack, and when she stretches 



254 



LIFE OF FEANK BUCKLAND 



out her arm slie looks like a statue of Minerva which had 
walked down from the top of a lofty pinnacle. 

‘ Captain Bates, the giant, is a splendid-looking fellow, 
very unlike the pictures of the giant in the “ fe fa fum ; I 
smell the blood of an Englishman ” legend. In fact, the 
giant is much too well dressed to show off his height. Of 
all the abominations to appear in in public, nothing in my 
opinion can equal the black suit, which we English and 
Americans imagine to be “ the thing.” If he really 
wants to look well, let him order a uniform like that of 
the Life Guards, Royal Horse Guards Blue, or French 
Cuirassiers. Captain Bates, I understand, has served in 
the Confederate army ; he has been in action, and was 
wounded three times ; why therefore not put on his 
American uniform? 

‘ Both the giant and the giantess were born in the 
same year, 1847, so that their age is twenty-four. 
Captain Bates has three brothers all six feet five to seven 
inches high. He is about as tall as Miss Swan, and a 
splendid couple they make when standing side by side. 
We hear rumours of the god Cupid having been seen as 
a passenger on board the ocean steamer, that brought this 
couple from the other side ; and also that the Captain has 
put one of Miss Swan’s gloves in his pocket, with which 
he visited a jeweller’s shop, and asked the price of a plain 
gold ring to fit the fourth finger of the left hand of the 
lady that wore that glove. 

‘ I must now describe the “ Two-headed Nightingale.” 
The Siamese Twins were certainly very wonderful people, 
but in Christine-Millie we have, I think, something more 
remarkable. The Siamese Twins are two old gentlemen 



SCOTCH FISHERIES, AND CORRESPONDENCE 255 

somewhat advanced in years. The “ Two-headed Night- 
ingale ” is composed of two charming young negress girls, 
who are united back to back by an indissoluble band. I 
do not recollect to have seen a more intelligent, ever- 
laughing happy face, than that of Miss Christine. She 
has dark rolling eyes and jet-black hair, and though her 
features are those of the daughters of Ham, yet there is a 
quickness and intelligence about her that shows culture 
and education. 

‘ Millie is like her sister in face and in her charming 
manners. They live in perfect concord, and from long 
habit walk about and even dance, without any appearance 
of effort or constraint. They are called the “ Two-headed 
Nightingale,” because they both sing very well, and the 
duets they practise show they have good voices, which have 
been successfully cultivated. Their age is nineteen.’ 

The same sympathy, which led Frank Buckland to 
labour for the protection of sea-birds, and to pity and aid 
the salmon’s fruitless leaps, extended to all animals, wild 
or tame, which seemed to need his help, and his sympathy 
was not sentimental, but effective. 

‘ I arrived at Newcastle,’ he wrote in July 1871, c at one 
in the morning of Tuesday last, on my road to the Coquet 
to examine into certain questions relative to bull-trout. 
Turning out before breakfast, I saw a large number of 
pigs being driven to market past the door of the “ Station 
Hotel.” They were, for the most part, pretty fat, and were 
all marked with three stripes cut into the hair on the left 
side. The poor brutes were evidently very tired ; one by 
one they kept lagging behind, till an application of the 
driver’s whip made them move sulkily on with a grunt. 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



25G 

My particular object in writing this article, is to call 
attention to the great cruelty of not giving these animals 
some water to drink. These poor thirsty creatures spread 
themselves across the road as far as the driver’s whip 
would permit them to go, and eagerly sucked and fought 
for every drop of dirty water they found in the gutters or 
puddles. If I could have found a pump, and could have 
arranged a trough, I would certainly have given the driver 
a drink of beer, to allow me to give the pigs a drink of 
water. 

‘ After a hasty breakfast, I went to the pig-market, 
which is close by the hotel ; there I found the herd of pigs 
separated out into pens. I can assure my readers that the 
study of the faces of these pigs was worthy of the artist, 
who painted that wonderful pig picture now in the Ex- 
hibition of the Royal Academy. The attitude of one of 
the pigs in the pen was exceedingly human. Piggy was 
evidentlv in a state of intense seediness, and so far as I 
could judge from his countenance — which was, I fancied, 
paler than usual — was in the condition which we human 
beings experience after a long and stormy sea voyage, 
backed up by a dire attack of sea-sickness. Worn out by 
sheer fatigue, the pig had laid himself down on his side, 
his legs were extended full length, his head on the ground, 
and he snored heavily. It was a cold morning, there was 
no sun, the pig had no covering, and every now and then 
he gave a regular shiver ; he was probably dreaming of 
his comfortable, but now far-off, home, in some Irish 
cabin, and doubtless his semi-articulated grunts were the 
dream responses to his mistress’s invitation to a drink of 
butter-milk, or a feed of potatoes and barley-meal. A 



SCOTCH FISHERIES, AND CORRESPONDENCE 257 



thought might possibly have crossed his mind, in a porcine 
sense at least, “Justice to Ireland” had not been done; 
he had been petted and fed on the best of food for months 
past, and all this supposed kindness — he found out too 
] a t e — was to convert his precious carcase into “ rint ” for 
the cabin. 

c By the side of this pig was an old sow covered with 
red hair. The poor old lady could not get a wink of 
sleep ; she kept restlessly shifting her position in every 
direction, and her bad asthma would not allow her to rest 
more than a minute or two in any attitude. The squeaks 
of some little pigs, in a neighbouring pen, seemed also 
considerably to distract her maternal mind. Every now 
and then she listened to these squeaks, as though she 
recognised the voice of the son and heir out of her last 
fifteen children. 

£ Upon all the faces of these worn-out pigs there was 
but one expression, meaning, as plain as a pig’s face can 
speak, water for mercy ’ sake, give us water ! I write this 
article especially to call the attention of the city authorities 
of Newcastle to the inhumanity shown to these poor pigs. 
I have also sent a copy of this letter to the secretary to 
the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. 

‘ On behalf, therefore, of the pigs, I once more make 
an appeal for water — a good drinlc of pure, clean, wholesome 
ivater, and not a suck at a dirty street puddle.’ 

The appeal was not without effect. Travelling soon 
afterwards in Scotland, he was recognised as the friend of 
thirsty animals, and learned with pleasure that the New- 
castle market was now well supplied with water-troughs. 

At the Cat Show, held at the Crystal Palace in the 

s 



258 



LIFE OF FEANK BUCKLAND 



same month, the hard fate of the wild cat drew fortli 
expressions of pity, and an appeal for some mercy. 

‘ There was a great crowd round the Duke of Suther- 
land’s wild cat, caught at Goldspie. He was first sent to 
my house in Albany Street ; but the beast was so fierce, 
that there would have been a “ Mutiny of the Nore,” both 
of bipeds and quadrupeds, if I had taken him as a guest; 
so I was unwillingly obliged to pass him on in a cab to 
Bartlett of the Zoological, who has put him in excellent 
condition for the show. Now that the show is over, the 
wild cat will again retire to private life at the Zoological. 
At the show he looked very bitter and snarly; he kept his 
ears flat down, and every now and then smiled a ghastly 
grin, and showed his white teeth, with a hissing “ kuss 
kuss,” as much as to say, “ Let me out of this cage but 
for a minute, you wretched Londoners, and I’ll make the 
lot of you skedaddle. I’m a prisoner now, but I’ve got 
good old Scotch blood in my veins, and I would make the 
bundle of you clear out like frightened sheep, as my 
ancestors did the Piets hundreds of years ago.” I went 
behind the bar to examine him more closely, and called 
him, “ Puss, Puss, Puss!” I fancied the poor brute smiled, 
and I fancied also I heard him whisper, “ Mr. Buckland, 
dear sir, I owe to you this delightful afternoon in the 
Crystal Palace in a cage, instead of spending it in a hollow 
tree in the far north, with my wife and dear kittens. 
Kuss kuss you ; but never mind, you are a good sort of 
fellow. I suppose mourir pour la patrie is the correct thing. 
Do pray ask the Duke to give his gamekeeper orders not to 
kill down my friends and relations quite so hard, for we do 
him more practical service than he thinks ; and if we did 



SCOTCH FISHERIES, AND CORRESPONDENCE 259 

some mischief, there will be plenty of grouse left for the 
guns on the 12th, and we would all of us rather be shot, and 
‘ die game ’ at the hands of a sportsman with a breechloader, 
than be ignominiously trapped, and have our poor legs 
snapped in half by the cruel iron of a gin set for us, when we 
are so starved that we might even ask for admission into St. 
Pancras workhouse ; or even let the gentlemen come out 
and hunt us with terriers and sticks, and we will show 
them some sport. Ask the Duke to preserve us poor wild 
cats. Our next-door neighbours, the eagles, told me before 
I was fool enough to be caught, that the Duke protected 
them ; so perhaps, if you will kindly tell the Duke what 
I ask you, this charming (oh, how hot it is !) visit to the 
Crystal Palace may be of use to my fraternity.” ’ 

Next to live animals, Frank Bu'ckland loved objects of 
scientific or curious interest. Every specimen in his own 
museum had its story and a place in his affections, and he 
constantly strove to stimulate in others a like taste. 

A visit to Canterbury in September 1871 gave occa- 
sion to call public attention to the interesting but neglected 
museum of that city. 

‘ After an inspection of the river Stour, I put off my 
return to London for a couple of hours in order to examine 
the Canterbury Museum, about which, by the way, two 
influential gentlemen of the city, with whom I dined, knew 
nothing whatever. I shall now attempt to describe its 
contents, and, at the same time, write what I think ought to 
be done for the future. Firstly, therefore, the Canterbury 
Museum contains specimens of very great interest and 
value, but they sadly want arranging, labelling, and clean- 
ing. Standing just inside the door of the museum, is a 



260 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



very fair but small specimen of a stuffed elephant. This 
poor elephant has been on sentry duty, I should say, for many 
years. He wears on his back a New Zealand chief’s cloak, 
rather suggestive of a confusion of locality. He ought to 
have a model howdah on his back to show how the intelli- 
gent animal is used in India as a beast of burden. A 
descriptive label should, moreover, be placed near him, 
showing the value of elephants, the various localities 
whence they come, the difference that exists between the 
Indian and African elephants as shown by the ear and the 
teeth. The trunk of this poor elephant has a compound 
comminuted fracture, and straw protrudes from the interior 
of his trunk in a most artistic manner. The neighbour- 
ing cobbler could sew this trunk in five minutes. The 
weapons from New Zealand, and the South Sea Islands, 
shields from Australia, etc., are exceedingly good and 
valuable — they should all be taken down and properly 
cleaned (not varnished), relabelled; and hung up again 
according to the countries whence they come. 

‘ Going upstairs, we come to the museum proper. The 
contents of the cases are in the utmost confusion and dis- 
order. In the first case are some exceedingly fine speci- 
mens of fossil elephants’ tusks dredged up at Herne Bay, 
and found in the drift of the Stour valley. These valua- 
ble specimens are all piled one over another like logs of 
wood, and if not soon looked to will fall into dust. The 
contemplation of these tusks will teach the Canterbury 
people, that there was something more ancient than even 
their grand old Cathedral, or even the Romans and Saxons 
before the Cathedral. The tusks may also cause an in- 
quiring mind to ask, how and when did elephants live at 



SCOTCH FISHERIES, AND CORRESPONDENCE 2G1 



Canterbury and Herne Bay ; and this may probably lead to 
the study of the local geology, and to the giving an object 
to daily constitutional walks, while at the same time many 
lads and lasses may be induced to read the story of our 
earth, before men appeared on its face, a story much more 
interesting and thought-coining than the sensational novel 
rubbish of the present day. In the same case with these 
elephants’ tusks are some casts of toe bones ; I at once 
recognised them as parts of the foot of the megatherium. 
I looked about for the other bones and soon found them ; 
the pelvis under one of the cases, the femur in one place, 
the tibia in another, and some more toe bones at the far 
end of the room. A cast of the armour-plated coat of the 
glyptodon is leaning up against one of the cases, while the 
animal’s head is several feet away ; close to a collection of 
dried cats, rats, calculi from a horse, an armadillo’s skin, 
wild boars’ heads, sharks’ teeth and backbones, the foot of 
an elephant, the head of a porpoise, and other objects ; all 
very interesting and instructive if put in their proper 
places, but now exhibited without order, label, or descrip- 
tion. 

‘ The bones of the megatherium should be put together ; 
a clever blacksmith could do it with iron rods and wire, 
if the order of the bones were pointed out to him ; and lo 
and behold ! there would rise up to view the hind quarters 
of an enormous South American animal, now of course 
extinct, whose history and habits, thanks to Professor 
Owen and my father the late Dean of Westminster, are 
perfectly well known ; and a most curious history is 
that of the megatherium, with his double skull like a 
fireman’s helmet.’ 



262 



LIFE OF FRANK EUCKLAND 



Thus each case was described and the proper arrange- 
ment pointed out. 1 1 understand/ he continued, ‘ that the 
annual number of visitors is fourteen thousand. Surely, 
then, it is worth while to assist the education of these 
people, who would not come to the museum at all if they 
did not wish to learn. Two "things are wanted, money 
and knowledge. A committee should be formed; one 
gentleman should undertake to catalogue and arrange 
the birds, another the antiquities, another the shells, 
another the minerals and fossils; and lectures might be 
given during the winter months on the contents of the 
museum.’ 1 

An aquarium, designed to show the life of the denizens 
of the waters, naturally attracted Frank Buckland’s special 
interest, as an embodiment of his own pursuits. He 
attended with Professor Owen and spoke at the opening of 
the Crystal Palace Aquarium in January - 1872. He 
assisted the arrangements for the opening of the Brighton 
Aquarium in the same year ; and in after years he aided 
the formation of other aquaria at Southport, Manchester, 
Yarmouth, and Herne Bay. He was anxious, however, 
that these exhibitions should not be merely places of amuse- 
ment, but of study and scientific observation. 

‘ The doctrine,’ he said, ‘ that it has been my life-long 
study to urge, is the application of natural history to practice, 
and the increase of food for the public. Anemones, soldier 
crabs, the sensational octopus, barnacles, serpulte, and 
other non-edible wretches, are all very interesting and in- 
structive ; but besides, I may say above these, I wish to 
see several problems of vast national importance solved or 

1 The arrangement of the museum is now considerably improved. 



SCOTCH FISHERIES, AND CORRESPONDENCE 263 

attempted to be solved. In the first place, it is most 
desirable that some data as to the times and manner of 
the spawning of turbot, soles, plaice, brill and other com- 
mercial sea-fish, should be ascertained, in order that the 
legislature may have definite data before them, whereon to 
found laws as to close time for sea-fish, and the prohibition 
of inshore trawling during the spring months. A turbot 
of 8 lbs. carries 300,000 eggs ; a sole of 1 lb. 130,000 eggs ; 
yet look at the price of turbot and soles ; where and how 
does this immense loss take place ? The herring fisheries 
are of vast importance, yet there is no law as to the 
mesh of the net, so that young unsizable fish are sent to 
market. The time of development of the various fish in 
the egg, and the rate of growth in the fry, should be care- 
fully noted. Everybody likes to eat whitebait. What are 
whitebait ? Those on the table often consist of the fry of 
some six kinds of fish, with occasionally a good dash of 
sticklebacks. Let us turn a pint of live whitebait — a 
marine Pandora’s box — into one of the tanks, and see what 
will happen. We salmon preservers lose thousands of 
our smolts, which have been hatched out under expensive 
preservation of the spawning beds. When the little things 
get into the estuary of the river, and find their way into 
the sea, a large number of them disappear from some cause 
or other. What are those causes ? Why is it physiolo- 
gically necessary for a smolt to go to sea at all ? We 
know the external difference between a smolt and a grilse, 
but I do not know anybody that has ever seen a young 
salmon in the intermediate stage, i.e. half smolt, half 
grilse. May we not, even further, having obtained the 
requisite knowledge, some day be enabled to fatten our 



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LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



grilse as they fatten early chickens for market ? Again : 
how long do the kelts require to transform themselves into 
clean fish ? A live kelt in a tank would be a grand study 
for all interested in salmon, and perhaps he might tell us 
some of his family secrets. The salmon fisheries of the 
United Kingdom are worth a great many hundreds of 
thousands a year ; they are yet capable of vast improve- 
ment. We know pretty well what these valuable fish do 
in the rivers, but we want to know more of their habits 
in the sea, and if possible extend our protection to them 
when in the sea. Oyster and mussel culture has of late 
been much advanced, but there is a point where our 
knowledge is pulled up short. Prawns are at a very high 
price, and where is the man who can tell us the details of 
their breeding ? The price of lobsters is also amazing. 
Yet people eat lobster eggs at dinner parties by the 
hundredweight every spring; and berried lobsters, with 
the young plainly perceptible in the eggs, can often be 
seen on the fishmongers’ slabs, waiting their turn for the 
boiling pot. This will not do ; the matter must be looked 
to ; but what are we to do, if we have not knowledge of the 
habits of the young lobsters ? My friend Mr. Lee and 
myself hatched out a pitful of young lobsters, and pretty 
little fellows they were, at Reculvers ; why not repeat the 
experiment in an aquarium ? The Scotch cod and haddock 
fisheries want mussels for bait, and the poor people of 
large cities are fond of mussels, yet our knowledge of the 
breeding of mussels is of the roughest kind. There are 
many other points which require attention. The Aquarium 
Company at Sydenham have a great field open to them, if 
they will convert their tanks, some of them at least, into 



SCOTCH FISHERIES, AND CORRESPONDENCE 2G5 

observatories for watching the habits of sea-fisli of economic 
and commercial value. Thus their exhibition will be not 
only ornamental but practically useful. 

Nor were his anticipations disappointed, when in the 
following year, at the Brighton Aquarium, he observed, 
with intense pleasure, the change in the growth of salmon 
from smolt to grilse. 

c There are occasions of supreme felicity ; they don’t 
come often. But I confess to the immense delight that I 
felt when I saw the salmon at the Brighton Aquarium. 
In the spring of 1873, my friend the chairman of the 
Usk Board sent some salmon smolts to the Aquarium. 
They all died but one ; and friends, fishermen, what 
can you see now ? This smolt has become a grilse. 
It is not a large grilse, not more then ten or twelve inches 
long, but a pure salmon grilse for all that. He shines 
like a bar of silver as he swims round his tank, sometimes 
leisurely, sometimes with the rapidity of a hawk. He is 
a wonderful and beautiful fish, the first smolt that ever 
turned himself into a grilse under the ken of us air-breath- 
ing mammalia. Naturalists can’t live in the water, fish 
can’t live in the air ; so we make water cages for our fish, 
and we observe their wonderful transmutations from one 
stage of adolescence to another ; changes quite as wonderful 
as the transformation of a dull-coloured, hairy vegetable- 
eating caterpillar, creeping along the ground, into a 
butterfly, which flies with ease in the air, on wings 
thinner than silver paper, and ornamented with colours, 
far more beautiful than anything that can be painted by 
artists.’ 

Notwithstanding the almost incessant labour of river 



266 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



inspection, and the time engrossed by watching and 
attending the proceedings of Parliamentary committees, 
and of the legislature, on fishery questions, Frank 
Buckland’s other occupations would have seemed sufficient 
to fill up a busy life. 

Every week the natural history columns of ‘ Land and 
Water ’ were edited, and multifarious questions answered ; 
and frequent articles appeared in that paper, or in the 
daily press. 

‘ Tired out with the most interesting but everlasting 
Salmon Bill, now before the committee of the House,’ 
he wrote in May 1872, ‘I went the other afternoon to 
the Royal Academy, as I thought I would try an experi- 
ment, how far the painter’s art could convey what he 
really meant, without the interposition of a printed descrip- 
tion ; so I bought no catalogue, and thoroughly enjoyed 
examining the pictures, especially as I am teaching 
myself to paint my fish-casts and like to learn.’ And so 
he proceeded to criticise from a naturalist’s point of view, 
in a most amusing strain, some of the principal animal 
pictures of the year, winding up with, 1 Now, my dear 
readers, I must stop. I write this from memory in the 
train, going to Shrewsbury on official duty, and I am 
nearing this fine old town. If I have offended any artists, 
I hope they will forgive me; but they really should 
observe nature ; after all, what I have written is only in 
fun, you know.’ 

The article was reprinted in the £ Times ’ from ‘ Land 
and Water,’ and caused much amusement. 

Mr. G. A. Sala wrote £ most heartily and sincerely to 
congratulate ’ the writer £ on the very sensible and sug- 



SCOTCH FISHERIES, AND CORRESPONDENCE 267 

gestive notes on the zoology of the pictures in the Royal 
Academy.’ ‘ These fifteen years,’ he added, ‘ I have been 
the art critic of the “ Daily Telegraph,” and am even now 
drudging at the canvases in Piccadilly ; but I can assure 
you that your professedly rough and ready critique has 
been to me a very valuable lesson, and I hope it may be 
one by which my colleagues in the ungentle art may 
profit.’ 

‘ This,’ Frank Buckland noted, £ is one of the greatest 
compliments I ever received.’ 

In 1874, some similar notes on the Royal Academy 
again appeared in 1 Land and Water,’ which are here 
reprinted. The truth and force of Millais’ painting 
(Nos. 68, 75) did not escape his notice, nor did the pathos 
of Mrs. Butler’s ‘ Roll Call ’ : — 

‘ I have again visited the Royal Academy without a 
catalogue, and without having read any critiques on the 
pictures, as I wished to see how far the artists have 
succeeded in representing scenes, which explain themselves. 
A picture should not require a printed description to show 
what is meant. Painting should be a language by itself. 

1 No. 20. A Heavy Sea breaking on and over rocks, 
with cormorants sitting and flying. Why not make the 
cormorants more distinct ? The flying gulls not made 
graceful enough. Can’t tell of what species they are. There 
are plenty of cormorants and gulls at the Zoological, which 
would have done for models. Gulls or terns, when flying, 
are most beautiful objects, especially when set off by a 
black cloud behind them. 

‘ No. 24. The copper vessels are most beautifully 
painted. 



2G8 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



1 No. 2G. Fishermen have come ashore with fish. The 
fish are bad. Surely there are plenty of cod and haddock 
recently caught to be seen on the fishmongers’ slabs. Too 
much red about the white underside of the skate. Land- 
scape very pretty ; looks like the mouth of the Dovey. 

‘ No. 43. A Young Lady with white hair asleep. She 
looks very bad, and has evidently a great deal on her 
mind, poor thing ! A cold chicken on the table by her 
side. She can’t eat much of it, only a bit of the wing. 
Claret in glass well painted ; the lady has hardly 
touched it. I suppose they could not get her a cup of 
tea ; ladies are always ready for a cup of tea. If I had 
been the painter, I should have put a live mouse on the 
table-cloth, or nibbling at the chicken ; it would have 
given a good idea of great silence and solitude. I feel 
much for the poor young lady, who, I think, must be a 
French girl. I wonder what may be the cause of her hair 
turning white ; it does not look like a natural whiteness. 

‘ No. 50. Fox Cubs. Three heads peeping out of a 
hollow tree, but I wonder what they are standing upon 
inside the tree. Foxes’ faces, especially cubs, are more 
difficult to paint than those of babies, the expressions of 
both are so varied. I never yet saw a fox’s head stuffed 
properly, for the taxidermists generally put in round 
pupils to the eyes, like the eyes of dogs, not slit-like 
pupils like those in a cat’s eye. Foxes being nocturnal 
animals, have nocturnal eyes. A wren is on a bough 
close to the fox cubs ; one of the cubs should be looking 
at the bird. The scene would have been better if the 
cubs and vixen had been represented playing outside a 
regular “ earth.” 



SCOTCH FISHERIES, AND CORRESPONDENCE 269 

< No. 57. A Dog attacking a Hedgehog. Not a 
very plucky dog. His mouth is shut, and it ought to 
have been open, and his lip should have been blood- 
stained with the prickles of the hedgehog. He should 
have been made barking. A dog can’t bark with his 
mouth shut. 

< No. 67. Meant for a sleeping baby and mother. 
The baby is not asleep, only pretending. The lady does 
not look like its mother, or she would be looking at the 
baby, and not away from it. She is probably the nurse. 

‘No. 68. Trees, probably in Scotland ; magnificently 
painted. The idea of a very hot day admirably given, as 
some black pods are bursting with the heat. On hot days 
these pods bursting make a very peculiar noise in woods. 
This picture would have been perfect if a squirrel had 
been made climbing, with his beautiful brush and know- 
ing little face, up one of the trees, the scene being quite 
in a squirrel country. It is not too late even now to put 
in Master “ Skug.” 

£ No. 75. Birch Trees on Waggon. Bark and moss on 
bark very good indeed. Don’t quite see where the smoke 
in the distance comes from. Is it smoke or mist ? The 
birch-wood is probably going to a fern mill, to be cut up 
to make cotton reels, or possibly furniture for some London 
firms. A girl and a dog are looking on in the distance. 
No doubt the horses to draw the waggon are just coming 
up. 

1 No. 97. People fishing in tidal waters with “ Fixed 
Engines.” These are large dip-nets like immense minnow- 
nets. The scene is not in England or Wales, or I should 
have known where it was. It looks like China to me. 



270 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



The fishermen probably throw bait, such as dry cod roe, 
over the net, and when the fish have assembled haul it 
suddenly. This mode of fishing was formerly adopted in 
Hampshire in catching atherines — called there “ smelts,” 
and a net like it was formerly used to catch salmon below 
Trew’s Wear at Exeter. 

‘No. 10G. A Labourer’s wife bringing his children to 
him, when at work near a big mansion. I don’t see that 
the good woman has brought his dinner. A lady is 
walking in the grounds of the mansion ; she probably 
wishes to change places with the labourer’s wife. This 
picture tells its own story. 

£ No. 109. Fish again dubious; no nets in the boat to 
indicate what the men have been after. 

£ No. 129. Two very pretty young ladies putting rose- 
leaves and lavender into china vases, to keep the moths 
out of their sealskin jackets, which they have just put 
away for the summer. China vases are magnificently 
painted ; also rose leaves and lavender. Pity the picture 
can’t be scented like rose-leaves and lavender. 

‘No. 130. Bold rock with moss; very true to life. 
This looks like a scene in Cornwall. Don’t see why the 
young lady is gone to sleep. Somebody should win a 
pair of gloves. 

‘No. 142. Foot Guards parading on a snowy day after 
action ; probably a Crimean scene. Anxiety on officer’s 
face well depicted. The horse looks as tired as the officer. 
The boots of the men have that white appearance of boots 
when worn in snow. Expressions of wounded soldiei's 
very true to life. A young soldier, who has not been 
wounded, affords a great contrast to the man with the 



SCOTCH FISHERIES, AND CORRESPONDENCE 271 



scalp wound, and the one with the shot through his left 
wrist, and the poor fellow that has just fallen — fainted, or 
d eat l — on the ground. The feather in the Doctor’s cocked 
hat is seen in the rear. If I had been the Doctor on this 
occasion, I should, probably, have been going round with 
the commanding officer and the serjeant-major, to answer 
any questions put to me relative to the wounded men, 
but many of the men badly hit should have been in 
hospital — not on parade. A very nice picture, true to 
nature. 

‘No. 168. An old Monk carrying two rabbits in a 
woodland park. A dog by his side. The dog seems 
very long in the body — perhaps monkish dogs were long. 
Don’t see how the old man has caught the rabbits ; he has 
no gun, ferrets, or trap. Possibly they are tithe rabbits. 

‘No. 181. Red Deer coming round a corner. Very 
pretty ; the artist must have seen this and photographed 
it in oil colours ; he could not have imagined it. 

‘No. 186. Scotch Cattle. Prettily grouped, but their 
coats are too clean. The satin glow upon the neck of 
one cow very pretty. The cattle are looking too many 
different ways ; this has been done probably for effect. 
On a hot day like this, there would have been lots of flies 
about the cattle, whereas there are no flies in the picture. 

‘No. 192. Sir William Fergusson. An exceedingly 
good and striking portrait. Our great surgeon is evi- 
dently about to perform a resection of the left shoulder- 
joint (see left scapula in preparation bottle). The scene 
of the picture is ably made known to the spectator, by the 
first few letters of the words “ Operating Room ” being 
visible, and by the slate, with chalk and sponge, on which 



272 



LIFE OF FLANK BUCKLAND 



Sir William has just made a diagram to show the students 
the relative situation of the structures, which must be 
divided in the operation about to take place. The 
attitude of this most eminent of European surgeons is 
exceedingly natural ; the likeness admirable. This is the 
proper way to paint an eminent man, not put him in the 
flowing robes of a Roman senator, like Sir Robert Peel in 
Westminster Abbey.’ 

But the artists were too sensitive to relish even such 
good-humoured home truths ; and Frank Buckland would 
not, willingly, wound any man’s feelings 5 so, although the 
editor of one of the leading journals urged him to repeat 
the criticism, offering him his own terms, he refused ; he 
had got, he said, into such hot water with the artists, by 
telling them the truth, that he dared not repeat the dose. 

Another episode of kindliness to man and beast 
occurred at the end of 1872. 

c About Christmas time 1872, after several hours of hard 
work, writing my official report at my office, No. 4 Old Palace 
Yard, I found on turning out that the weather had become 
bitterly cold, blowing half a gale of wind, with sleet. 
Running along the not particularly well-lighted pavement, 
I nearly stumbled against a man standing at the corner of 
the street by St. Margaret’s church ; luckily the glitter of 
metal on his cap caught my eye, and looking at this I saw 
that it was a brass plate with the word “ Blind ” engraved 
on it. The poor man was tapping his stick against the 
curb-stone, apparently wanting to cross over the street, so 
I waited quietly to see what would happen. He had with 
him a little dog tied to a string ; the dog was in the road- 
way pulling at the string, while his master kept tapping 



SCOTCH FISHERIES, AND CORRESPONDENCE 273 

the edge of the pavement, and evidently intently listening 
lor the sound of wheels. At last the man said “ Go ! ’ In 
an instant the little dog ran across the street, pulling 
with open mouth and extended tongue at the string, like 
a greyhound in slips. I was pleased to see that the pair of 
them arrived quite safe at the other side. I at once 
entered into conversation with the blind man, and, wishing 
to obtain his history, I told him to call the next evening 
at my office, as he went to his usual stand.’ 

And so the story of the blind man, and of Puss the 
blind man’s dog, was told, extending the sympathy Frank 
Buckland felt for them so widely, that within a few weeks 
subscriptions for more than forty pounds were received for 
Puss and her master, which placed them both in comfort 
instead of privation. ‘ The subscribers represented kind- 
hearted people of all classes, from noblemen and noble 
; ladies, who sent their sovereigns, to servants, who sent 
their sixpences, and schoolchildren, who sent their single 
penny queen’s heads.’ 



T 



274 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



CHAPTER XII. 

THE ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS AND SEAL FISHERIES: 1873-1874. 

Year after year Frank Buckland continued to watcli over 
the improvement of the English and Welsh rivers, advised 
on or designed the fish-passes required, and in his annual 
reports traced the general though varying progress of the 
salmon fisheries, and recommended such additional legisla- 
tion as growing experience suggested. 

Frank Buckland was no mere enthusiast; that his 
unresting energy was balanced by sound practical judg- 
ment, is shown by the statement, in his report of 1871, 
of the principles of action which had gained success in his 
official duties. 

c The element of fighting is not, in the present days of 
enlightenment, at all called for; an injudicious zeal in the 
cause entrusted to an individual by the public, may often 
damage that cause more than promote it. Salmon do not 
form the sole food of the people ; bread comes before salmon. 
Water power is much utilised, especially in parts of the 
country where there are no coal mines, for the purpose of 
grinding corn into flour : it is also, in the case of manufac- 
tories other than corn mills, the source of great riches and 
employment to many poor people. There is no reason 
whatever why both mills, manufactories, and salmon 



THE ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS AND SEAL FISHERIES 275 

should not co-exist and flourish, provided there exists, 
what is called in common parlance, an element of give and 
take: i.e. when the wheel, the motive power of the 
machinery, does not require the water, let the salmon 
have it ; and it should be the duty of the Conservators and 
Inspectors to see that the water is properly economised 
for their fish. I feel convinced that persuasion is better 
than force, and that private interviews and subsequent 
communications will often succeed in obtaining for the 
salmon, what no Act of Parliament, in the absence of the 
Local Executive, could obtain. 

c What the public require of me, as a Government officer, 
is to use my best endeavours to increase the supply of 
salmon. Long experience has shown me how best to do 
this in individual cases. Those not actually engaged in the 
work can know nothing of the details required. Though 
my writings may sometimes seem opposed to the salmon 
cause, yet I can assert that what I say and do in this im- 
portant matter, is founded upon anxious thought, and 
views of all sides of the question. Pacts are the great 
things to be desired, and these can only be obtained by 
accurate observation out of doors, and by the dissecting- 
knife and the microscope indoors. The science, for it 
ought to be elevated to a science, of salmon culture is yet 
in its infancy. I make it my daily business, to endeavour 
to deduce from the facts that come before me the general 
laws of nature, which are higher than the laws of man.’ 

‘ It may possibly be remarked,’ he wrote again, ‘ that 
in these reports I have entered too much into detail ; but 
salmon cultivation consists of details, and there is hardly 
any particular or object, however slight and apparently 



276 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



unimportant, that is unworthy of attention of those who 
wish to increase the number of salmon in the waters which 
are confided to their care.’ 

A Parliamentary Committee sat in 1872, which led to 
a salmon-fishery Amendment Act in 1873, carrying out to 
a great extent the recommendations which had been sug- 
gested and discussed in the Inspectors’ reports. 

Frank Buckland recognised from the first, that the 
variety of nature could not be strained into uniformity by 
human law. 

The habits of salmon, their breeding time, and periods of 
migration differed in different rivers, and the legislators 
of 1861 hoped, but in vain, to induce them to conform to 
the uniform close time defined by that statute. The idea 
that preservation could convert a late into an early river 
was disproved, and the Legislature now wisely fitted the 
law to the habits of the salmon ; ‘ for the simple reason 
that salmon refused to take cognisance of the edicts of the 
law.’ 

Power, therefore, was given by the Act of 1873 to 
adjust the dates of the close time, and the mode of netting, 
to the habits of the fish in particular rivers, and to make 
local bye-laws according to differing circumstances. The 
inquiries, which preceded the exercise of this power, gave 
full employment to the habits of observation, the experi- 
ence, and the tact possessed by Frank Buckland and his 
colleague. The doctrine, which Frank Buckland had 
constantly practised, and had striven by personal exertion 
and influence to enforce — that the passage of fish might 
generally be secured without injury to the millers — was 
now, to his rejoicing, admitted by the Committee of 



THE ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS AND SEAL FISHERIES 277 

the House of Commons, and adopted as the basis of 
legislation. 

In a letter to the £ Times ’ he summarised the effect of 
the new Act and the progress of fish culture. 

1 After long experience I am convinced that artificial 
culture of migrating Salmonidce can never compete with 
natural cultivation. This consists not in hatching out 
a few hundred thousand salmon eggs in boxes, but in 
opening up for the parent fish as many miles of spawning 
ground as possible. The salmon know their own business 
much better than we do. During the last few years, fish 
culture on a large scale has been gradually and carefully 
carried out in England and Wales. At one time it was 
thought that the same form of fish-pass could be adapted 
to all obstructions to fish : we now know that every weir 
requires a different form of pass. 

1 Since the Salmon Act of 1861 was passed, we have 
discovered that the salmon will not obey the laws which 
the legislature enacted ; and it has now been found neces- 
sary to call the salmon into consultation, and adapt legisla- 
tion to the habits and instincts of these clever, mysterious, 
but most valuable creatures. Salmon will not ascend rivers 
according to Act of Parliament, but will come up just when 
it pleases them so to do. During the past twelve years, 
it has been illegal to catch salmon with the net after 
August, and with the rod after October. The new law 
takes cognisance of the habits of the fish ; and for the future 
it will be lawful, with the sanction of the Home Office, for 
the net fishermen in late rivers to catch salmon during 
certain days in September, and the rods will be allowed to 
fish during certain days in November. By these means I 



278 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



trust many tons of salmon will be sent into the markets, 
while extra sport will be afforded to anglers. By means 
of bye-laws, it will henceforth be possible to increase the 
weekly close time, so as to give the upper proprietors a 
better share of the fish. To allow the use of a net to 
catch the sea-trout, that have hitherto escaped through the 
legal salmon-mesh two inches from knot to knot ; to give 
a play-ground or resting place for the fish, at the mouths 
of rivers ; to preserve kelts that have spawned, and fish 
that are about to spawn, from fatal wounds from the gaff 
of the poacher ; to preserve down fish and fry from being 
smashed to pieces by mill-wheels ; to regulate the fishing 
for fish other than salmon during the annual and weekly 
close time : these form the subjects of bye-laws. But 
besides, water bailiffs have increased powers to preserve fish 
from poachers. Eel stages are to be removed from January 
to June ; and, above all, the law now enacts that the sluices 
in front of mill-wheels are to be kept shut on Sundays, 
and at all times when the water is not required for milling 
purposes. The consequence of this will be, that on 
Sundays, throughout the length and breadth of the land, 
the water, which for six days has been diverted from the 
river to turn the wheel, will by law be sent over the 
weir ; so that the ascending fish will have an extra chance 
of getting up, while the descending fish will be enabled 
to get down to the sea, earlier in the spring than they did 
before. 

‘ This is what I call real fish culture, carried on over many 
hundred miles of river and mountain-brooks in our own 
country. By careful observation we find out what natures 
laws are, and endeavour to obey them ; and, if it were not for 



THE ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS AND SEAL FISHERIES 279 

the polluted state of many of our rivers, our salmon pro- 
duce would almost double in a very few years. Artificial 
breeding is nevertheless most valuable ; first, to increase 
river or lake trout ; secondly, to import or export eggs. 
I have, since Christmas, received and distributed about 
150,000 eggs of great lake-trout from Neufchatel and 
salmon from the Upper Rhine. I understand the Duke 
of Sutherland has wisely laid down nearly a million 
salmon eggs, to change the breed of salmon in the various 
Sutherlandshire rivers. Lord Exeter has now hatching 
out American brook-trout and white-fish and American 
sea- trout, Salmo ctmethystus , sent over by Sir Edward 
Thornton. Colonel Goodlake has, at his fishery at Denham, 
near Uxbridge, a very fine stock of American brook-trout, 
a very handsome sporting fish, which bids fair to be natural- 
ised in this country ; while the golden tench of Central 
Europe has already been made almost a common fish by 
Mr. Higford Burr, of Aldermaston Park, Reading.’ 

The Act of 1873 also forbade killing the fry of eels, 
which swarmed up the Severn and Wye in April and May, 
and had been caught by millions; but the magistrates 
hesitated to enforce the law, when the question was raised 
whether elvers, as they were locally called, were really young 
eels. Frank Buckland went to Gloucester to prove their 
identity. He produced specimens of the eel in the various 
stages of its development ; pointed out the peculiar forma- 
tion of the eel’s bead, the lower jaw fitting over the upper 
like a close-fitting box ; the eye exactly over the junction of 
the upper and lower jaws ; the teeth set upon the roof of 
the upper jaw, and upon the edge of the lower jaw ; the 
fin, beginning about the centre of the body, and then ex- 



280 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



paneling into a beautiful fringe again enlarged at the tail. 
The eel also is a fish which very often goes from place to 
place out of water, and nature has provided in a marvellous 
manner for its living out of water ; the gills or breathing 
organs are covered up by a delicate curtain, which acts as 
a valve and as a reservoir for water, thus enabling the fish 
to take in a gill full of water, so to speak, and to keep his 
gills moist during the time he is out of water, preventing 
the gills from sticking together and stifling him. An ex- 
traordinary fact is that an eel has a heart in his tail, 
which, when the eel is dying, pulsates at the rate of 95 
to the minute. This little heart was said to exist in 
no other fish ; but this, and each other particular named 
he proved, with the microscope’s aid, to exist alike in 
the elver as in the eel, and their identity was conclusively 
established. 

In June 1873 he turned out into the Thames a large 
number of young salmon hatched at South Kensington. 

{ Although I was very sorry to have to turn out my little 
fish babies that I have so long regarded with affection and 
interest, watching them from the egg ripen into fishhood, 
yet it was absolutely necessary, as, in spite of the number 
I have sent away, my hatching troughs were getting so full 
of fry, and the temperature of the water was going up so 
fast, that they began to die. Moreover, I could not pos- 
sibly afford to keep so many fish at my museum, for it 
must be known that these little fellows are very greedy and 
expensive to feed. I feed them with red worms collected 
from the Thames mud. These worms cost 4-5. Qd. a quart ; 
the price of Thames worms, like everything else, has 
increased considerably. I have therefore made three excur- 



THE ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS AND SEAL FISHERIES 281 

sious to turn out my young fish into the Thames at Staines, 
Windsor, and Shepperton. These little fry have not the same 
amount of intelligence as fry found in a wild state. When 
first turned out, they seemed stupid, and gaped about as 
though they did not know what to do; nor indeed did 
they go far away from the place, whereas a wild fry would 
have bolted in a moment. I hope these little things will 
soon learn to feed themselves, though it is possible that 
some time may elapse, before they find out that they are no 
longer in a glass nursery with Mr. Edon to give them their 
breakfast, dinner, and supper regularly ; nevertheless, they 
are all out now, and must take their chance. I have done all 
that parental care can suggest for their welfare. I am well 
aware that there are persons who will say, that “ Buckland 
has only been putting out his fry to feed the jack and perch.” 
Very likely a large proportion of them will be eaten by the 
jack and perch, but surely some of them will escape ; 
besides which, it must be recollected that these are learned 
fish, and have been reared in the Science and Art Depart- 
ment in South Kensington. They ought therefore to have 
more science and art in their little brains, than the vulgar 
little common fish hatched in a gutter and not in a 
beautiful slate trough.’ 

Each event at the Zoological Gardens was watched 
with interest. The strange arrivals there were promptly 
announced. ‘ The Zoological Society,’ Frank Buckland was 
wont to say, ‘may boast of an illustrious pedigree of more 
than six centuries.’ The first collection of wild animals 
was made in the Tower of London, and consisted of three 
leopards, sent to Henry III. by the Emperor Frederick II., 
‘in token of his regal shield of arms, wherein those 



282 



LIFE OF FRANK AUCKLAND 



leopards were pictured.’ Six centuries ago, in a.d. 1255, 
the sheriffs of London built a house for ‘ the king’s ele- 
phant, the first seen in England.’ James I. was fond of 
baiting lions and bears in the Lion Tower; and animals 
more or less in number were kept in the Tower of London, 
till they were transferred to the Society’s Gardens in 
Regent's Park in 1834. 

Special interest attached to the birth of Guy Fawkes, 
the young hippopotamus ; and no nurse could be prouder 
of child, than Frank Backhand of the thriving growth of 
this prodigious bantling. 

‘ Wednesday last, November 5, 1873, being the first 
birthday of little Guy Fawkes, the young hippopotamus, 
I have called at the Zoological Gardens to wish the pretty 
little fellow “ Many happy returns of the day.” I chanced 
to call at his breakfast-time, and was fortunate enough to 
witness the operation. The water in the bath was as 
clear as crystal, and I was able to observe everything that 
went on. The mother laid herself down on her side, 
turning over like a huge bacon-pig asleep. The young 
one stood on all fours on the bottom of the tank. He 
stayed under water from half a minute to a minute and 
three quarters ; he then came to the surface, took a deep 
inspiration, and sank again as quietly as a frog. It was 
very interesting to see, with what little splash or noise 
these gigantic creatures can lift their heads to the surface 
of the water. After he had finished his breakfast, the 
keeper enticed Guy Fawkes and his mother out of the 
water. The little one is as tame, playful and docile as a 
kitten. We made him out to be about 6 feet 4 inches 
long, and 2 feet 10 inches high at the shoulders. His 



THE ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS AND SEAL FISHERIES 283 

back is a slaty black colour; but bis cheeks, chest, and 
legs are of a lovely pink salmon colour. We calculated 
his weight to be nearly 1 ton; and his mother would make 
and weigh about three little hippos. He eats and sleeps 
well, and, besides his natural nourishment, his meals con- 
sist of chaff, bran, mangold-wurzel, scalded oats, biscuit, 
and sugar. He is very fond of anything sweet. He has 
already learned to beg for food ; he puts his head out 
between the bars, opens his mouth, and pricks up his 
little ears when he wants to beg. The gape of his mouth 
is about 18 inches; he has already a most lovely set of 
white teeth, and the tusks begin to project out of his pink 
gums. His mother is very watchful over him ; and if she 
thinks anyone is about to disturb her child, hisses loudly, 
like a big snake. Every morning, when it is moist and 
wet, he and his mother are let out into the bath outside ; 
when it is dry and frosty they are kept in the house, as 
the frost would crackle and parch their delicate skins. 
When in his morning bath, he is very playful and plunges 
about like a porpoise. The pair of hippos sleep on the 
straw all night, but they spend a great portion of the day 
in their bath in the house, in a sort of semi-sleep. They 
float up to breathe apparently without an effort, like corks 
rising to the surface ; when under water they keep their 
eyes wide open, after the manner of crocodiles. When the 
mouth of the young one is wide open, it will be seen that 
the tongue is arched directly upwards, so as to form a 
compact valve, which prevents the water going down the 
gullet. The old father, in the next den, talks to his wife 
and child by means of sonorous gruntings, and they 
answer him. The father’s face is much longer and sharper 



284 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



than that of his wife, and his eyes and nose are much 
more prominent. I have forgotten to mention that Guy 
Fawkes turns out to be a young lady hippo; she is more 
delicately featured than her father, and is very like her 
mother in face.’ 

Many were Frank Buckland’s stories of the Zoological 
Gardens. One was how Obash, the first hippopotamus, once 
got loose. It was early in the morning, before the Gardens 
were opened, when a keeper rushed into Mr. Bartlett’s 
house, exclaiming £ Obash is out ! ’ and, sure enough, 
there came Obash down the long walk, his huge mouth 
curled into a ghastly smile, as if he meant mischief. The 
cunning brute had contrived to push back the door of his 
den, while his keeper had gone for the carpenter to mend 
some defect in it. Having warned every one to keep out 
of the way, Mr. Bartlett called his keeper, who tried to 
coax the hippopotamus back with sweet hay. The brute 
munched the hay, but showed no sign of going back. 
What was to be done ? Mr. Bartlett is a man of unfailing 
resource. There was one keeper Obash hated, and ran at 
him whenever he came in sight. £ Scott,’ said Mr. Bartlett, 
putting a bank note in his hand, 1 throw open the paddock 
gate, and then show yourself to Obash at the end of the 
path, and run for it.’ The man looked at the note, and 
then through the trees at the beast, and, going into the 
middle of the path, shouted defiantly 1 Obash.’ Ugh ! 
roared the beast, viciously, and wheeling his huge carcase 
suddenly round, rushed with surprising swiftness after the 
keeper. Scott ran for his life, with the hippopotamus 
roaring at his heels, into the paddock and over the palings, 
Obash close to his coat-tails; bang slammed the gate, 



THE ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS AND SEAL FISHERIES 285 

and the monster was caged again. Just then, up drove a 
cab with a newspaper reporter. £ I hear,’ he said, ‘ the 
hippopotamus is loose ! ’ ‘Oh dear no,’ innocently replied 
Mr. Bartlett, ‘ he is safe in his den ; come and see.’ 

The winter of 1874 was a severe trial to the animals of 
the Zoological Gardens. Frank Buck! and visited them in 
the coldest weather, and attracted public interest in their 
condition by a letter to the ‘ Daily News.’ 

‘ During the past severe frost, many of our readers, 
when assembled round the Christmas hearth, have doubtless 
remembered the poor animals in the Zoological Gardens. 
At the very height of the frost, we paid a visit to the 
Gardens. They presented, indeed, a most forlorn aspect, 
contrasting greatly with their brilliant appearance on a 
summer’s afternoon. Everything seemed frozen up, and 
many of the houses were defended from the frost by 
various contrivances, and the inmates themselves were 
seldom visible. The Polar bears, the beavers, and seals, 
alone seemed to enjoy the cold weather. The smaller 
Polar bear is a female. She has bred twice — two cubs at 
a time. When born, each is about the size of a large rat. 
The cubs were put to a foster-mother, but the little 
wretches were so disagreeable that the canine mother 
would not attend to them. The seals seemed perfectly 
happy, and to enjoy the frost and snow much more than 
they do the summer weather. Out of the four Bladder- 
nosed seals, that were presented to the Society by Captain 
Gray, only one remains alive, and he is the big male. 
When he first arrived he was fed on eels, but now he eats 
sprats, whiting, and haddocks, and, with the other seals, is 
. a very expensive pet. Old Le Compte, the seal-man, 



286 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



informed us, “ Que les seals ont bien passe leur Christmas 
avec une double ration de poissons.” Le Compte has kept 
the ice in the big round pond broken, and the seals 
(especially the two sea-bears) have advanced considerably 
in their education, particularly in the art of catching fish 
in their mouths, when thrown from a distance ; the big one 
will “ field ” the fish with a dexterity to be envied by 
cricketers. It will be observed that the smaller sea-bear 
shows his flipper as he swims in the water, so that he might 
be easily mistaken for a porpoise ; the other sea-bear does 
not show his flipper at all. 

1 The beavers are quite at home in the cold and snow. 
Three holes were opened for them in the ice, and were 
kept open by the beavers themselves continually passing 
through. This is probably their habit in far distant 
Canada and North America. It was very interesting to 
see the beavers collect the snow, which they do by pushing 
a heap up together ; they then collect it between their 
fore paws and chin, and half push half carry it along. 
One cunning rascal made a snow hill at one corner of the 
enclosure, a clever bit of engineering, by means of which 
he evidently intended to have escaped, by going to the top 
of the snow hill, and then dropping down the other side. 
Another of these beavers was evidently not quite satisfied 
with his present home, and had set to work to improve it. 
This fellow collected a quantity of snow, and piled it up 
as a kind of extra thatching on his “ hut,” as it may be 
really called, in the middle of the pond. The inside of 
this “ hut ” is said to be tunnelled in a most remarkable 
manner. There is a story extant, not only in schoolrooms 
but even much higher, probably originated by Peter Parley, 



THE ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS AND SEAL FISHERIES 287 

that beavers use their tails as trowels, to flatten down the 
mud, which forms the roofs and sides of their huts. They 
never do anything of the kind ; they use their tails for 
sitting on their haunches, and for steering themselves in 
the water. They also have the power of slapping the 
water with a loud noise ; this is done as a signal when in 
danger. 

‘ During a very hard frost some four years ago, the 
rhinoceros fell through the ice which covered the pond 
of his enclosure : he was then very nearly drowned, but 
was cleverly hauled out from his perilous position by means 
of ropes. This year, the moment the frost was gone, the 
ice was removed, and the rhinoceros let out to have a bath. 
The old thing would not take the usual plunge, but, just 
putting her toes into the water, instantly drew back, the 
water evidently being much too cold. The elephants and 
the other large animals in the new elephant house, and 
the giraffes and elands also, have preserved good health 
during the severe cold : the houses are kept at an agreeable 
temperature by means of hot-water pipes. The mother 
hippopotamus and Guy Fawkes, the young one, who has 
grown amazingly, are also quite well. The water in which 
they bathe inside the house is always kept warm at as near 
•55 deg. as possible, and they seem thoroughly to enjoy 
their perpetual warm bath. The ant-eater retired under 
a mountain of straw, only turning out at dinner time. 
In the ant-eater’s house is a large tank nearly full of 
alligators, crocodiles, turtles, etc., which make a great 
splashing when disturbed. The structure of .the lungs of 
these creatures enables them to remain days — nay even 
weeks, sometimes months — under water without breathino- 

O * 



288 



LIFE OF FRANK EUCKLAND 



About a week ago a very fine crocodile arrived, some four 
feet long : lie was nearly stiff with cold, but being put 
before the fire he gradually thawed, and was placed in the 
tank, where he has become quite lively in his hot bath. 

‘ The snakes and reptiles are reported “ all well.” The 
temperature in the cages is kept up to about 90°, and the 
snakes are covered carefully with thick blankets. The 
only effect that the cold has is to take away their appetite. 
Many snakes will not feed during the severe weather, 
even although provided with the greatest luxuries of the 
season, viz., little hairless blind rats. A good many rats 
are bred on purpose to supply the snakes with this much- 
coveted delicacy. The value of a full-grown fat rat is 
twopence ; they are most useful for food for the hawks, 
eagles, &c. The score is kept by the tails being taken 
to the office. 

‘ The latest arrival at the Gardens is an immense toad, 
called the giant toad, from the Brazils, the largest known 
toad. This fine fellow measures seven inches in length, 
and is broader than he is long ; he eats white mice and 
common frogs, and has great glands on his head from 
which he can eject a kind of poison. 

‘ During the frost a covering was put on the front of 
the dens of the lions and tigers, and none have suffered. 
Each lion’s allowance is eight pounds of horse-flesh per 
day. A few days ago Mr. Bartlett performed an opera- 
tion upon a female tiger. Her claws had grown so much 
that they had penetrated the pads of her foot. Mr. 
Bartlett lassoed her by the neck, afterwards by means of 
straps pulled her feet out between the bars, and with sharp 
nippers nipped off the points of the claws. When the 



THE ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS AND SEAL FISHERIES 289 

tigress found what was being done gave her no pain, she 
showed little or no resistance. 

< There are now one hundred and two animals in the 
monkey house, all well. There are just now some very 
remarkable monkeys. One is a Macaque, a perfect albino \ 
his hair is as white as the beard of an old man, his pink 
eyes like a rabbit’s, and his hands and nose are like blanc- 
mange. There is also a very remarkable monkey called 
“ Patas,” or Hussar Monkey. He looks like a greyhound, 
and is of the colour of a fox ; the keeper calls him therefore 
“ Sandy.” Another is the Wanderoo, a fellow with a 
great mass of hair round his face and the most awful teeth 
ever seen in a monkey’s mouth. This monkey has been 
credited with having killed two niggers before he was 
caught ; he comes from Malabar. Other monkeys worth 
notice are a new marmozet with red ears, not yet named, 
and a Japanese ape ; also a very wonderful monkey from 
South America, with a face like a sloth, and three very 
beautiful spider monkeys. The way in which these 
monkeys swing and cling by means of their prehensile tails 
is very interesting. The monkeys’ food consists of bread 
and milk, boiled rice, apples, carrots, potatoes, &c. The 
temperature of the house is kept at about 60 or 65 deg. 
Poor Joe, the chimpanzee, has been made into a skeleton 
long ago ; he died, like most of our London monkeys, of 
tubercles. 

‘ As regards the birds, it is interesting to know 
which are most hardy. The beautiful Crossoptilon from 
Northern China, the pheasant who wears lovely whiskers 
each side of his eyes, does not mind the cold at all, coming 
from a naturally cold climate. This bird is very tame, 

.u 



290 



LIFE OF FKANK BUCKLAND 



and promised some time ago to become a domestic bird ; 
but having bred to the third generation they generally 
die off ; perhaps the reason of this is, that in their native 
home they migrate and change food at different times of 
the year. Lady Amherst’s pheasants are also hardy ; they 
come from Northern China. This bird crosses freely with 
the gold pheasant, producing a bird of amazing beauty ; 
and, unlike hybrids or mules, the offspring are as fertile 
as their parents. By this beautiful cross, therefore, a 
new race of the most beautiful pheasants in the world has 
been produced. Another very beautiful and interesting 
bird, in excellent health, is Stanley’s jungle fowl ; its 
home is Ceylon ; these birds are worth 50 1. per pair. A 
collector, who did not know their value, procured seven of 
them alive at Trincomalee, and had them cooked for dinner 
— rather an expensive feed, three and a half pairs of 
fowls of the value of 175 1. One would have supposed that 
this bird coming from Ceylon would require heat, but they 
belong to the mountains, which are cold and damp. There 
are only three species of white storks known — the Euro- 
pean, the Japanese, and the South American. These 
are all represented in the Gardens. The Japanese stork 
is still white, the other two have got dirty with the London 
smoke. The Crown Pigeon, of New Guinea, a bird nearly 
as large as a turkey, with a beautiful crest on his head, 
thrives in this country, and is a grand bird for the aviary, 
or the lawn in front of the drawing-room. Another bird 
that should be acclimatised is the bronze-winged pigeon of 
Australia. The wings of these pigeons are more brilliant 
than the mother-of-pearl on a lady’s fan. They require 
little more care than the common pigeon. In the large 



THE ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS AND SEAL FISHERIES 291 

aviary are a considerable number of guans and curassows. 
These birds would make excellent farmyard birds as 
a superior kind of turkey, but unfortunately they will 
not lay eggs. Another peculiarity is that they lose their 
toes in the winter ; if the frost at all touches the toes they 
drop off. A bird can be seen in this condition in the curas- 
sows’ cage. The extraordinary and beautiful aquatic bird, 
the darter, from South America, is in good health, but he 
is moulting. The visitor should remark the clever way 
iu which he transfixes a fish with his beak before he 
swallows it. 

‘ The only deaths that can be attributed to the frost 
are a curassow, an armadillo, a natter jack toad, and a 
chameleon. These deaths are not to be wondered at con- 
sidering the hot climates these animals come from. That 
so few losses have occurred is certainly attributable to the 
exceeding care, practical experience, and constant super- 
vision of Mr. Bartlett ; careful regulation of temperature, 
and an increased supply of food for every animal in the 
Gardens, are found to be the best means to ward off sick- 
ness in cold weather.’ 

In 1873 Frank Buckland published, through the 
Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, a History of 
British Fishes, an enlarged edition of which was the 
latest labour of his life. 

Numerous lectures were delivered in these years at the 
Society of Arts, at his Museum in London, and at many 
country places; by which he endeavoured to spread more 
widely the knowledge of and interest in fish and oyster 
culture, and the love of natural history. 

His Museum he constantly added to, at great personal 



292 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



labour, casting fish and painting the casts ; and he loved to 
show the fruit of these labours to those who would share 
his interest in them, and his keen eye brightened with 
delight as he explained and told stories of the different 
objects he had collected. Sir Bartle Frere, Sir Philip 
Egerton, the Dukes of Argyll, Sutherland, Wellington, 
and St. Albans are noted as amongst his visitors ; the 
Marquis of Bute also, whom he aided to restock the Isle 
of Bute with beavers, the Archbishop of York, and the 
Bishop of Limerick, the Maharajah Duleep Singh and 
many others ; with no less pleasure he records, on Easter 
Monday 1873, ‘Thousands of people in the Museum; a 
great and decided success, thank Goodness.’ 

Legends of huge sea monsters, clasping boats or even 
ships in their writhing arms, had long been current, but 
were little credited by naturalists. Such stories in a 
modified form became multiplied as the wonders of the 
sea were more constantly observed. In December 1873, 
Frank Buckland received through the Colonial Office 
official papers and photographs describing parts of a 
monster cuttle-fish caught off Newfoundland. Its dimen- 
sions were soon rendered palpable to popular view. The 
shape and length of the body and tentacles were cut out in 
boards and hung in his Museum, showing a sea monster 
with arms thirty-five feet in length. 

Besides literary and museum work, he gave evidence 
before the Parliamentary Committee on river pollutions, 
whose report led to an important statute passed in 1876 ; 
and he repeatedly visited Windsor to examine the drainage 
works there, at the same time watching over the results of 
fish-culture carried on in Windsor Park, and receiving 



THE ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS AND SEAL FISHERIES 293 

from Prince Christian instructions to survey and report on 
all the lakes and ponds in the park. 

On July 22, 1874, at the Jubilee Anniversary of the 
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, he ‘ went 
on the platform and made a speech about cruelty to seals. 
Much applauded. Deo gratia.’ 

The cause of the seals, which for several years he 
earnestly and successfully advocated, was thus stated in a 
letter to the ‘ Times,’ in March 1875 : — 

‘ Captain David Gray, of the sealing and whaling ship 
“ Eclipse,” and myself first brought forward, some three 
years ago, the necessity for a close time for Arctic seals. 
The principal sealing-ground is at Jan Mayan Island, 1,300 
miles due north from London. Seals resort to this island 
and thereabouts to breed. There are four species in- 
habiting the Greenland seas, viz. the harp or saddle-back, 
the bladder-nosed or hooded seal, the bearded seal, and the 
floe rat. These seals are none of them fur seals, but yield 
oil worth 50 1 . per ton. Seal and whale oils are the only 
oils which will dress jute properly. Jute is a vegetable 
fibre grown in India and largely used in British manufac- 
tures. The annual value of the seal oil from the above 
fishings is about 250,000Z. This great commercial interest 
is now in jeopardy, inasmuch as, unless there is some 
speedy legislation, the seals will be utterly destroyed. A 
fleet of ships is engaged every spring in this work of 
destruction. Twenty steamers and a few sailing vessels go 
from this country, especially from Peterhead and Dundee, 
twenty-seven are Norwegians, of which twelve are steamers, 
five steamers sail from Germany, two from Sweden, and 
one Dutchman ; in all sixty sail. The ships arrive at the 



294 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



ice from the 15th to the 20th March, just as the young 
seals are born. The seal hunters at once attack them, and 
most horrible cruelty ensues. I quote Captain Gray’s own 
words to me. “ Last year the fleet set to work to kill the 
seals on March 26, 1874, and in forty-eight hours the 
fishing was completely over, the old seals being shot, 
wounded, or scared away, while thousands upon thousands 
of young ones were left crying piteously for their mothers. 
These mostly perished of famine in the snow, as they were 
not old enough to make worth while the trouble of killing 
them. If you could imagine yourself surrounded by four 
or five hundred thousand babies, all crying at the pitch of 
their voices, you would have some idea of the piteous 
noise they make. Their cry is very like that of a human 
infant. These motherless seals collect into lots of five or 
six, and crawl about the ice, their heads fast becoming the 
biggest part of their bodies, searching no doubt to find 
the nourishment they stand so much in need of. These 
little seals are called cats, they increase in size exceedingly 
fast, and if left to grow for a few days, the oil would be of 
value, while their skins, used for patent leather, and boots 
of the best quality, would be valuable.” ’ 

In 1876 an international close time was established, 
prohibiting the killing of seals in these seas until after 
April 3. 

This arrangement, which became effective in 1877, has 
increased the value of the fishery by allowing the young 
seals to grow to a value four or five times greater than 
as they were before recklessly slaughtered, and has nearly 
put a stop to the destruction of the mother seals. It 



THE ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS AND SEAL FISHERIES 295 

affords no protection, however, to the bladder-nosed seals, 
which breed in June ; nor does it prevent the entire 
young brood of the year being killed 5 some further 

protection is therefore needed. 

‘I am quite certain,’ writes Captain Cray, ‘that I 
could not have got the close time for seals established 
without the aid of Frank Buckland.’ ‘ 1 first knew Mr. 
Buckland,’ he adds, ‘personally in 1870; he came to 
Peterhead about salmon-fishing, and he was the man I 
wanted most to know in the world. We took to each 
other at once, and continued great friends until his 
death.’ 

The annual slaughter of seals is prodigious. About 
80,000 saddle-backed seals, and a like number of hooded 
seals, are killed every season in the Greenland fishery, 
while the Newfoundland fishery destroys an equal number. 
Some reasonable restrictions are necessary, or the race 
must become extinct. 

The fur seals, which provide the seal-skin cloaks, are a 
distinct species from those above mentioned. The fur- 
seal fishery is confined to the Aleutian Islands, on the 
north-west coast of America, part of the Territory of 
Alaska acquired by the United States from Russia 
in 1867. 

This fishery is let by the United States, under careful 
regulations for the preservation of the race of fur seals. 
The young males only are killed, at the age of three or 
four years, when their skins are most valuable, and the 
number annually taken is limited to 100,000, a number 
which, large as it is, does not diminish the fishery. 



296 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



Other nations may well take example from this wise 
care. 1 

One principle pervaded Frank Buckland’s writings — 
t o show, as his father had done, the evidence of design and 
skill in all created things. Of this the following paper, on 
the evidence of design in the structure of the fish, crocodile, 
armadillo, tortoise and hedgehog, is an example. It 
appeared in ‘ Land and Water ’ in July 1874: — 

‘ It is very interesting to observe the wonderful way in 
which the Creator has clothed and ornamented his various 
creatures. Some live in the water, some on land, some 
pass their time partly in the water or on land, some exist 
partly in the air, on the water, and on the land. All are 
beautifully and wonderfully constructed. I propose now 
to make a few remarks on the external coverings of some 
of these ; taking as a beginning the various modifications 
of horny coverings. 

In the scales of the fish (the carp is about the best ex- 
ample) we find plates of thin horn, somewhat resembling, 
when cleaned and boiled, a portion of an ordinary horn 
lantern. These plates are set each in a soft pocket of the 
true skin, and overlap each other so as to form a complete 
suit of armour, giving origin, no doubt, to the idea of scale- 
armour, as worn by our ancestors at the time when arrows 
were used in battle. The scales in the fish are not all of 
the same size ; they are beautifully fitted, like enamel plates, 
on to the body, so that while they afford the most efficacious 

1 In the Fisherj r Exhibition of 1883 an admirable series of specimens 
of the fur seal was shown by the Alaska Company, the lessees of the 
fishery, together with drawings and descriptions of the method of carry- 
ing on the fishery. An excellent article on the fur-seal fishery also 
appeared in the Quarterly Itcview for October 1883. 



THE ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS AND SEAL ilSIIERIES 297 

protection, they will not interfere in the least with the 
movements of the fish, which in many instances aie 
exceedingly rapid. 

< Passing on from the fish to the crocodile, we again 
find a scale-formed armour. The scales in this case aie 
let into the skin in a different manner to those of the fish, 
and they are capable of absorbing a considerable amount 
of water. This I found out by soaking a crocodile s skin 
in water. Before the skin was soaked, it was as hard and 
inflexible as a board. Having been soaked a few hours, it 
became almost as pliable and soft as a wet towel. This is 
evidently an arrangement to enable the crocodile to pass 
his time with comfort, both in the water and out of the 
water. A crocodile also has lungs, not gills, and we 
never find true scales, like those of a fish, unaccompanied 
by gills. When the crocodile is basking in the sun, 
his scales are much harder than when they are in the 
water. 

‘ If we look for scales in land animals, we shall find 
them, more especially in the pangolin, the armadillo, and 
the tortoise. The pangolin’s scales are very like, but yet 
differ from, fish scales proper, inasmuch as they are not 
intended to be wetted. In the armadillo we find a series 
of scales of peculiar shape, not let into pockets as in the 
fish, but each connected with its neighbour by soft skin, 
so that the armadillo’s skin may be said to be a series of 
oblong-headed nails (such as are used to tack on furniture 
fringes), fastened into a covering, which forms the skin of 
the animal. The armadillo has to roll himself into a ball 
as occasion requires, therefore the studs of his armour are 
so beautifully fitted as to size and shape, that he can roll 



298 



LIFE OF FLANK BUCKLAND 



them up into a ball without the slightest appearance of a 
crease or wrinkle. 

‘ In the case of the armadillo, who lives under a covering 
of horny flexible skin, please to observe that his backbone, 
and all other bones, as well as his lungs, heart, and other 
viscera, are all underneath this flexible roof to his body. 
In the tortoise we find quite another arrangement. Take 
a tortoise-shell and boil it, and you will find that you can 
pick off the scales one by one, and underneath the scales 
is a tenter-house of solid-formed bone. This dome-shaped 
house is not composed of a continuous mass of bone, as a 
tea-cup is made of a continuous plate of pottery, but 
rather of a series of small bones, all properly arched to 
suit the original curve, and jointed together in a most 
marvellous manner. It was not possible to rivet or bolt 
these plates together. Mortar could not be used to bind 
them together, as in the case of an arch made of bricks. 
What then must be done ? If the reader will examine 
for himself, he will find that the edges of each bone are 
deeply serrated, and that the serrations fit in such a work- 
manlike manner one into the other, that an amount of 
solidity is gained which could not have been equalled if the 
whole dome had been cast in a solid piece. 

‘ But how is the tortoise to live in his house ? Where 
are his ribs to go to ? Let us examine. In ordinary 
animals the backbone forms an attachment for the ribs, 
and there are plenty of muscles outside the ribs. In the 
tortoise, the ribs themselves are actually used to form part 
of the dome or roof. By examining the inside of a 
tortoise-shell, the fact will at once become apparent. 
The ribs will be seen forming the girders of this wonderiul 



the zoological gardens and seal fisheries 299 

roof, ancl they are connected together by means of the 
above-mentioned plates of bone and denticulated edges, 
while the centre portion of the bone sends down an 
arch to form a canal, in which the spinal marrow is con- 
tained. 

‘ The tortoise therefore lives inside a house, which is 
composed of his own ribs formed into a dome, and he rests 
upon his sternum or breast-bone, which is flattened out 
into a broad plate, to serve, first, for the attachment of the 
ribs, and, secondly, as a kind of supporting foot or basement. 
Can there possibly be a more beautiful piece of design 
than this, which combines economy of material and great 
strength with lightness ? 

‘We often find the same design in created things 
utilised for various purposes. It is therefore highly 
interesting to find that the same kind of denticulated 
suture as adopted in the tortoise is present also in our 
own skulls. A bony box is required to carry and protect 
the brain ; the human skull therefore is formed of bones, 
each being joined to its neighbour by identically the same 
kind of union as that in the tortoise. There is in the 
human skull another meaning for this : the interposition 
of several lines of sutures all over the skull prevents a 
fracture of one of the bones of the skull spreading to its 
neighbour, just as the woodwork in a window frame 
prevents the fracture of an individual square of glass 
spreading to the adjoining squares. 

c In the common hedgehog we find a very curious 
bit of mechanism. The hedgehog has no horny studs 
fastened into the skin, as in the armadillo, nor yet has he a 
bone-formed dome, covered with horny scales, as in the 



300 



LIFE OF FLANK AUCKLAND 



tortoise. Instead of this, his horny covering assumes the 
form of spines, or bristles, each set firmly into the skin at 
one end, and very sharply pointed at the other end. 
These bristles the owner can erect in groups, with all 
the points outwards, presenting a formidable array of 
weapons ; but the hedgehog has also power to lay back all 
these sharp-pointed spines in • one direction, viz. from his 
head downwards. In this position they form a carpet, 
which, if smoothed the right way with the hand, is as soft 
as velvet. To find out how all this mechanism is carried 
out, I have dissected a hedgehog, and was surprised to 
find how very slight are the muscles which command the 
spines. They are fine strings or fibres very similar to the 
‘ corrugator supercilii,’ or frowning muscle in our own fore- 
head ; in fact when a hedgehog curls himself up, he begins 
work with a tremendous frown as he tucks his head in- 
wards. The muscles that work the spines are attached to 
the spines which project from the back-bone, and also 
more especially on to the ribs, which I find to be of unusual 
strength and abnormal width for so small an animal. The 
vertebras are attached to the ribs in a very peculiar 
manner, and each of the back-bones fits on its neighbour 
by a wonderful joint, which keeps the chain of bones quite 
stiff when the animal is walking, but which enables him 
to coil up into a ball on the slightest provocation. 

c I find that the hedgehog has a clavical or collar-bone, 
evidently for the purpose of using his forepaws for digging. 
His digging-claws are also peculiar, and, when curved 
together, assume a shape very like that of the ant-eater, 
who pulls down the ants’ nests with his tremendous claws. 

‘ Such, then, are a few examples of “ design, beauty, 



THE ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS AND SEAL FISHERIES 301 

and order ” which have lately come under my notice in my 
dissecting-room. 

< 2s[.B. — I am sadly in want of mole-crickets, dead or 
alive. Any so-called vermin will be also acceptable.’ 

A long inquiry of nine days, in December 1874, into 
the bye-laws for the Wye fishery, was diversified by an ex- 
amination of the peal of bells in the beautiful church of Ross. 

£ One evening during the progress of the inquiry, when 
inspecting the shops, a magnificent peal of bells began to 
ring. Having but once before seen a church belfry, when 
they were ringing a peal, I determined, if possible, to get 
up into the belfry. With some difficulty, having no light, 
we found the little door at the base of the tower, and, after 
shouting awhile, a man came down with a candle in an 
ancient horn lantern. I then went up and up and up 
some very narrow and much worn stairs, till I arrived at 
the belfry. Imagine a largish room quite square, four bits 
of candle burning a dim light, from the ends of a very 
primitive chandelier made up of laths, a creaky floor, a 
roof of antiquated timbers, an old man and a charity boy 
on a form in the middle, the solemn tick, tick, tick of the 
church clock, and eight men, each standing by a rope, 
and you will have some idea of the scene which presented 
itself to my view. The chief of the ringers gave me a very 
kind welcome ; and after giving some mysterious orders to 
the ringers, who went each to his rope, at a given signal off 
went the merry bells, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, again and again 
for about five times. The leader then cried loudly, “ Bob ” ! 
and the bells instantly altered to (as I understood after- 
wards) 2, 1, 3, 5, 4, 7, 6, 8 ; then to 3, 2, 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 ; 
and so on for a considerable time, interspersed with the 



302 



LIFE OF FEANK BUCKLAND 



orders loudly given every now and then “ Single ” ! “ Bob ” ! 
till at last the poor bells seemed suddenly to recover their 
senses, and away they went loudly 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 ; 
and then “ Halt ! ” This peal-ringing was evidently hard 
work, but the music was beautiful. It was a peal of 
“ Grandsire Triplets,” whatever that may mean. Grand- 
sire, I believe, is the name of a man who was a great 
authority on bell-ringing. An inscription on the wall 
was pointed out to me with evident pride, which reads as 
follows : — “ February 11, 1851, was rung in this tower a 
true and complete peal of Grandsire Triplets, containing 
5,040 changes, in three hours and two minutes, being the 
first true peal ever rung in this country.” Then came 
the names of the ringers. 

‘ I was then permitted to ring a bell, and was surprised 
to find the tremendous velocity and power with which the 
rope, at a certain stage of the pull, rushes upwards. This 
is very dangerous to novices, who might get entangled in 
the rope, and smashed by it against the roof above. It 
requires great knack to pull the rope at a certain instant 
so as to make the bell speak. How the men manage, under 
these circumstances, to ring a peal, especially with changes, 
I cannot understand. I was told that the bells were then 
“ raised,” that is they were standing with their mouths 
uppermost, and, as time was getting on, the ringers must 
“ fall ” them, i.e. bring them very gradually back to their 
original position, with the mouths downwards. This “ falling 
the bells ” took some time, during which many musical 
combinations took place most enchanting to the ear ; they 
ended, as usual, with a half-faint 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, /, 8. 

‘ I spread the news of my discovery of the bell-ringers 
at Ross Church among those present at the Inquiry, and 



TIIE ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS AND SEAL FISHERIES 303 

the ringers promised to ring us another peal the following 
evening. We had to wait till the evening church service 
was over, when a goodly company of strangers visited the 
belfry. The ringers then took extra pains with their 
complicated change ringing, which is far beyond my 
comprehension, and even, I have reason to know, past 
the understanding of the learned lawyers assembled. They 
cross-examined the ringers again and again, but could 
make nothing of it. I never saw lawyers so completely 
stumped before, and this by eight honest hard-working 
men, a mason, a wheelwright, a tailor, a tallow-chandler, 
a shoemaker, a ploughman, &c. Trahit sua quemque 
voluptas was here well exemplified. The lawyers kneAV 
their business, the ringers knew theirs. When the men 
had rung a beautiful peal, they offered to muffle the bells in 
our honour. The bells are generally only muffled at 
Christmas. Muffling the bells, I was told, means tying 
a bit of leather on to the clappers, so that the sound is 
subdued. While two men went up to muffle the bells, the 
ringers sat down in a row on a form, each with a hand-bell 
in his hand. By interchanging these bells they rang 
a very pretty peal, and then standing up, played several 
good tunes on these hand-bells. 

‘ The bells being now muffled, the men rang another 
peal, the effect of which was exceedingly beautiful. I then 
with my colleague, Mr. Walpole, went right up into the 
steeple, and stood upon the beam, close over the eight great 
bells, as they were giving out their iron voices. The 
noise here was tremendous. By signs alone could we 
speak, but it was a grand sight to seethe bells swinging in 
great circles, with tremendous power and swiftness, and 
then to see them instantly stopped in their wild career, 



304 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



and made to speak by the comparatively feeble hand of the 
man at the rope below. The sight of these eight bells 
all swinging, apparently madly, and without order, and 
yet giving out a. most musical peal, which (when the bells 
are not muffled) can be heard eight miles off, was grand in 
the extreme. After looking well at the bells, I sent down 
word to ask the ringers to “ fall ” them ; and it was very in- 
teresting to see, how neatly and gently the bells began to 
lessen their speed, then seem to despair of their work, then 
labour heavily at it, then begin to slumber, and at last fall 
into the deep heavy sleep, which they have enjoyed more or 
less for one hundred and eighty years. Only fancy one 
hundred and eighty Christmas days ! Taking a generation at 
thirty years, these bells must have rung their Christmas peal 
to no less than six generations of the inhabitants of Ross 
since the reign of king William III., a.d 1695, when the 
“ Man of Ross,” John Kyrle, gave the big bell. It is said 
that the Man of Ross was present at the casting of the 
tenor or great bell, and that he took with him an old 
silver tankard, which, after drinking claret and sherry, he 
threw in and had cast with the bell. By a curious coinci- 
dence this bell unexpectedly fell off the wheel soon after 
John Kyrle’s funeral.’ 

Frank Buckland was elected corresponding member of 
the Zoological Society of Philadelphia, an honorary member 
of the Chester Society of Natural History, presided over by 
his friend Canon Kingsley, and a member of other local 
associations. 

He still found time for many public and social engage- 
ments ; exhibiting objects of newest interest from his 
collection at the soirees of the Royal Society and College 



THE ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS AND SEAL FISHERIES 305 

of Surgeons ; attending meetings of tlie Fisheries Preserva- 
tion Society, under the presidency of the Duke of Northum- 
berland, and of the Thames Angling Association, who 
presented him with a diamond ring and a watch and chain 
in testimony of the value of his aid. 

He also received an exhibitor’s medal for his contribu- 
tions to the International Exhibition of 1873 at South 
Kensington. 

In 1874 he delivered two lectures at the Society of 
Arts on Natural History, followed by a lecture at his 
Museum, and another at the Brighton Aquarium, when he 
gave prizes to his younger hearers for the best essays on his 
former lectures ; he also lectured at the opening of the 
Manchester Aquarium in May 1874, and at Harting, 
Sussex, in the same year. 

Two young nephews called in Albany Street while he 
was preparing for the Brighton lecture. The old rhinoceros 
at the Zoological Gardens had lately died, and Frank 
Buckland was busy making a huge pie of a portion of the 
carcase, to be distributed among his Brighton audience. 
The nephews came in for an anticipatory share. It was 
like very tough beef. 

He met the Prince and Princess of Wales, and later 
the Shah of Persia, at the Earl of Granville’s. Dined at the 
Wykehamists’ and St. George’s Hospital and other public 
dinners ; wrote an article on the Two-headed Nightingale ; 
called on them and the giant and giantess, Captain Bates 
and Miss Swan. The Two-headed Nightingale returned his 
visit, and he entertained the giant and giantess at dinner 
in honour of their marriage, on which happy occasion the 
Two-headed Nightingale officiated as bridesmaids. 



x 



306 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



CHAPTER XIII. 

SPECIAL INQUIRIES, NORFOLK BROADS: CRABS, LOBSTERS, 
AND OYSTERS, HERRING FISHERIES, &C. : 1875-1877. 

From salmon, sea-birds and seals, Frank Buckland’s care 
was extended to other freshwater fish, crabs and lobsters, 
oysters, and sea-fish in general. 

1 Salmon fisheries,’ he had written in 1871, ‘ do not form 
the only part of aquiculture that requires development by 
means of scientific attention and regulation in this country. 
There are thousands of acres of fresh water, such as the 
lakes in various parts of England and Wales, the 
Norfolk broads, and even comparatively smaller lakes and 
ponds in private parks, the cultivation of which is now 
absolutely neglected. 

1 By the judicious administration of rules as to close 
time, netting, &c., for freshwater fish other than salmon, 
tons of white fish may be grown as food for the people, 
a kind of food which would find a market in large manu- 
facturing towns ; while at the same time sport for the 
anglers of London and its vicinity, as well as those of the 
large inland manufacturing districts, would be greatly in- 
creased.’ 

An ardent fisherman himself, he thought it an object 
of national concern to provide the working classes with 
healthy sport. 



SPECIAL INQUIRIES, ETC. 



307 



In 1875, Frank Buckland was instructed by the Home 
Secretary to inquire into the state of the crab, lobster, and 
other sea-coast fisheries on the coast of Norfolk ; and 
ascertain whether they should be placed under regulations 
to prevent waste, and to preserve them in future. 

His report, after several weeks of careful inquiry, was 
presented in August 1875, and contained various infor- 
mation ; other notes, gathered at Yarmouth, were also 
published. 1 

The growth of the herring fishery is noticed : 422 mil- 
lions have been landed in one year at Yarmouth and 
Lowestoft alone, yet no diminution of the herring has taken 
place within the memory of man. Many boats fish with 
one or two miles of nets, and five or six thousand miles of 
nets are laid for herring on favourable nights in the 
North Sea. The mackerel fishery is there comparatively 
unimportant, the trawl fishery of great value, about 1,000 
large trawling vessels going out from Yarmouth and 
Lowestoft. 

The Norfolk broads, the Report states, c are freshwater 
lakes varying in size and depth ; there are nearly fifty 
altogether in Norfolk and Suffolk. If the Serpentine was 
surrounded by a jungle of reeds and rushes extending a 
considerable distance out from the bank, a good idea of a 
Norfolk broad on a small scale would be obtained. They 
form a chain of inland lakes, containing nearly 5,000 acres 
of water, connected with the sea by about 200 miles of 
river, the greater part of which is navigable.’ 

In these broads tons of fish and fry were yearly de- 
stroyed by unregulated netting, and by the cutting of the 
1 Notes and Jottings from Animal Life , p. 184. 



308 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



water weeds when laden with fish spawn ; and it appeared 
advisable that the freshwater fisheries of Norfolk and 
Suffolk should be scientifically cultivated. All classes of 
society dwelling in the neighbourhood were willing to take 
this matter in hand. The rivers and broads were admirably 
adapted for the breeding and fattening of such indigenous 
fish as belonged to the species of carp, bream, perch, 
and so forth. The temperature of the water in the spring 
and summer months was favourable to the breeding of these 
fish ; fish of this kind do not, like the salmon, require 
gravel beds and running water ; they, on the contrary, 
naturally deposit, or rather suspend, their spawn on the 
water weeds and other aquatic plants. The borders of the 
broads are for the most part margined with dense jungles 
of weeds, while the bottom is planted with forests of sub- 
aqueous vegetation, so that there are many hundred miles 
of spawning ground available for the fish which live in 
these waters. 

Common yellow river trout were also found in the 
broads, and new species of fish might be introduced. 

The Report also dealt with the oyster, mussel, and 
whelk fisheries of the coast, the whelk fishery at Lynn 
alone yielding about 6,000£. a year. 

The crab and lobster fishery, which formed the principal 
industry of the coast near Cromer, had fallen off to a 
serious extent, owing to the wholesale destruction of the 
young crabs, locally called toggs. 

At Cromer the fishermen generally threw back the 
toggs into the sea, but at Sherringham, a neighbouring 
village, they were kept and sold. One fish merchant esti- 
mated that 28,000 undersized crabs, worth barely one 



SPECIAL INQUIRIES, ETC. 



309 



farthing eachj were brought ashore and sold at Sherring- 
ham in one day. 

The crab fishers of Cromer have a peculiar arithmetic, 
thus two crabs are counted as one. The two crabs being 
called a cast, six-score of crabs is called a hundred. At 
Cromer, therefore, a hundred crabs means 240. 

The lobster fishery was also diminishing from the sale of 
undersized lobsters from 4 to 6 inches long. 

The Report made various recommendations, including 
protection for the broads, a close time for the crabs and 
lobsters, and the prohibition of the sale of undersized fish, 
crabs, and lobsters. 

An Act was passed in 1876, regulating the crab and 
lobster fishery of Norfolk; and another Act was passed in, 
1877, after a Parliamentary inquiry, before which Frank 
Buckland gave evidence, for the protection of the fisheries 
in the broads. A general inquiry was also directed into 
the crab and lobster fisheries of the United Kingdom, 
preliminary to considered legislation on the subject. 

This inquiry was held in September, October, and 
November 1876, by Frank Buckland and Mr. Walpole for 
England ; and by the same Inspectors, with Mr. Archibald 
Young, for Scotland. The Irish Fishery Inspectors also held 
an inquiry, and in result an exhaustive report was pre- 
sented in March 1877, which formed the basis of a further 
Act passed in the same year regulating this subject. 

To this report, which collected a variety of curious 
information, was appended an interesting paper by Frank 
Buckland on the Natural History of Crabs and Lobsters. 

We eat dressed crab, and lobster salad, and refresh 
our wearied brains with the stores of phosphorus they con- 



310 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



tain, yet those brains give little thought to the strange 
unseen life of these creatures, which by hundreds of 
thousands are caught for us by toiling fishermen in British 
seas, while 600,000 lobsters are yearly brought from Nor- 
way to eke out our supply. Before the young crabs are 
born, the mother crab tucks up, under her tail, her numerous 
family of from one to two million coral-like eggs (it is the 
lobster, gentle reader, not the crab, turns red in boiling), 
and she sidles on tiptoe many a mile from her rocky home, 
to some sandy flat in the deep sea, where her young family 
may flourish best. There, or perhaps on returning home, 
in early spring, the time for all young things to come 
forth, the tiny crabs burst the egg ; yet so unlike their 
parent, that till lately they were thought some strange 
animalcula ; goggle eyes, a hawk’s beak, a scorpion’s tail, 
a rhinoceros’ horn, adorn a body fringed with legs, yet 
scarcely bigger than a grain of sand ! Several strange 
shapes are assumed in turn, ere the young crab attains 
the parent form. For the parents of so numerous a family 
it is well that nature has provided the young crabs with a 
strong suit of clothes, which does not wear out ; but it is 
quickly outgrown ; the young crabs shed from time to 
time the horny case, even to their finger-nails and eyelids ; 
and mother nature straightway provides, underneath, a 
new, soft leathery suit, which quickly hardens into shell. 
Another marvel is that the growth is, as it were, by leaps 
and bounds ; each time it bursts its case, the young crab 
swells suddenly to twice the size of the discarded shell. 

In crab youth several new suits are annually required. 
In maturer life the lady crab, it seems, is content with one 
new dress each year ; yet is not the romance of life over. 



SPECIAL INQUIRIES, ETC. 



311 



In the time of her soft-shelled weakness and seclusion, a 
male crab in full armour constantly attends her, guards her 
from danger, and solaces her in her retirement. An old 
crab’s shell covered sometimes with barnacles, or with 
oysters of several years’ growth, shows that the patriarch 
has outlived the change of fashions which occupied his youth. 

The lobster in its infant transformations and later 
growth differs little from the crab. These are the scavengers 
of the seas, and like high-flavoured food, which the nicer 
crab would reject. 

Frank Buckland’s full account of the structure and 
habits of these curious creatures may be read with interest. 

The stormy seasons of the rocky coasts frequented by 
crabs and lobsters give, for the most part, a sufficient 
natural close time for this fishery ; and it was only found 
needful to pro ride by legislation against the sale of under- 
sized crabs and lobsters, and of crabs at the breeding- 
time, when, unlike lobsters, they are unsuitable for food, 
and also of soft-shelled crabs. 

A curious and kindly episode is contained in this 
Report. ‘ The Fishermen at Hall Sands keep four or 
five Newfoundland dogs for the purpose of carrying lines 
from the shore to the boats in rough weather. The surf 
is so heavy in certain winds, that the only possible way of 
landing is for the boat to be drawn through the surf by 
the friends of the fishermen on shore, by means of the 
lines which the dogs take out to them. The fishermen 
think it a great hardship that these dogs should be taxed. 
We promised to draw the attention of Her Majesty’s 
Government to the matter, and we have noticed it accord- 
ingly here.’ 



312 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



In 187G a Parliamentary Committee on Oyster Culture 
sat to inquire into the reasons of the scarcity of oysters, 
the effect of the recent legislation, and the expediency of 
further measures. 

F rank Buckland gave evidence before this committee, 
which eventually recommended the extension of the close 
time for oysters to the whole of the months from May to 
September inclusive, except as to the deep-sea fishery, the 
close time for which was fixed by international regulation 
from June 15 to the end of August. The committee also 
recommended the prohibition of the sale of undersized 
oysters, and the encouragement of private enterprises for 
breeding and feeding oysters on the foreshore. The report 
led to appropriate legislation in 1877. 

The use of dynamite for the destruction of fish formed 
the subject of a special inquiry and report by the In- 
spectors in 1877, and of a consequent Act of Parliament. 

In the same year Frank Buckland, with Mr. Walpole 
and Mr. Archibald Young, were appointed Commissioners 
to inquire into the condition of the herring fishery on. 
the coast of Scotland. Several weeks in August and 
September were occupied in this inquiry, H.M.S. ‘Jackal’ 
being appointed to convey the Commissioners to the Shet- 
land and Orkney Isles, and various places on the coast. 
A pleasant description of their cruise, with other notes 
from Scotland, is contained in ‘Notes and Jottings.’ 1 

For nearly seventy years the Scotch herring fisheries 
have been superintended by the Board of White Herring 
Fishery; their importance, however, justified a special Com- 
mission. In February and March spawning herring are 



1 Pp. 141-173. 



SPECIAL INQUIRIES, ETC. 



313 



caught off the coast of Ayrshire. In May and J une shoals 
of young herring, with undeveloped roe, swarm in the 
Minch, the narrow sea lying between the Hebrides and 
the north-west coast of Scotland, fihese are called mat- 
ties or maidens, and 1 are principally sold in the Russian 
markets, where they are regarded as a delicacy, and the 
great Russian families are in the habit of obtaining for 
their own use an early barrel of Scotch matties. 

From July to September the herring have reached the 
south-west coasts and Loch Fyne, the Loch Fyne herring 
being specially valued for their size and flavour. In the 
same months the great herring fishery on the east coast 
takes place, the fish there caught being mostly spawning 
or breeding fish. Late in the season spent, or shotten 
herrings are taken, and are sold as of inferior quality in 
continental markets. 

These are the principal herring fisheries in Scotland, 
though herring are caught throughout the year. 

The annual take of herring is prodigious. About a 
million of barrels, representing 800,000,000 fish, are taken 
in Scotland; the Norwegian herring fishery is as pro- 
ductive as the Scotch fishery ; and the English, the 
Irish, the French, and the Dutch fisheries are also very 
productive. Estimating the gross produce of these four 
fisheries at only the same amount as the Scotch fishery, 
2,400,000,000 herring must be annually taken by these 
four nations, the British, the French, the Dutch, and 
the Norwegian. Yet the destruction of herring by man 
is probably insignificant compared with that wrought 
by other natural agencies. Cod and ling, of which 
three and a half million were taken in Scotland in 1870, 



314 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



feed largely on herring, six or seven being often found 
in the stomach of a cod. These, it is thought, may 
consume twelve times as many herring as the four nations 
together. Gannets, of which 1 0,000 dwell on Ailsa Craig, 
must catch more herring than all the fishermen of Scotland ; 
‘ whales, porpoises, seals, codfish, dogfish, predaceous fish of 
every description, are constantly feeding on them from the 
moment of their birth. The shoals of herring in the ocean 
are always accompanied by flocks of gulls and other sea 
birds, which are continuously preying upon them ; and it 
seems therefore no exaggeration to conclude that man does 
not destroy one herring for every fifty destroyed by other 
enemies. The destructive power of man therefore is in- 
significant, when it is compared with the destructive 
agencies which nature has created ; and nothing that man 
has done, or is likely to do, has produced, or will probably 
produce, any appreciable effect on the number of herring 
in the open seas.’ 

On the east coast off Aberdeen, the fishery is now 
carried on in deeper seas, with larger boats than formerly ; 
and though some inshore fishings on the west coast have 
diminished, the fishing in general has largely increased. 

The substitution of lighter nets of cotton for the old hemp 
nets enables the same boats to carry five times the former 
extent of netting, and with the increase in the number 
and size of the fishing-boats, has raised the extent of the 
netting used by the Scotch herring fishers to a notable 
magnitude. ‘ There are more than 7,000 boats in Scotland 
fishing for herring. These boats must, in the aggregate, 
have nets 23,000,000 yards long, and certainly in the ag- 
gregate 230,000,000 square yards of netting. The Scotch 



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herring nets would, in other words, reach in a continuous 
line for nearly 12,000 miles, and cover a superficial area 
of 70 square miles. They would go more than three times 
across the Atlantic, from Liverpool to New York, and 
cover more than one half of the Metropolis under the 
Metropolitan Board of Works.’ 

It is true that this vast amount of netting is not 
worked at the same place and time ; but on many nights 
there are 1,500 boats fishing off the coast of Aberdeenshire. 
Their nets would reach six times across the North Sea. 

The sprat or garvie fishery is also of some magnitude ; 
80 tons of garvies, worth 4,000 1 ., are annually sent from 
Inverness alone, to London and other large markets, as 
food for the poorer classes. 

The Commissioners recommended some minor regula- 
tions for the improvement of the inshore fishing ; but that 
the gannets, rather than the fishermen, should be restricted. 
They considered general legislation for the herring fishery 
unnecessary and unadvisable. 

To this report was appended a full and interesting 
account, by Frank Buckland, of the natural history of the 
herring and sprat. 

These special inquiries did not interfere with the 
annual reports on the salmon fishery, in which various 
strange customs are noticed. In the estuary of the Eden in 
Cumberland, the salmon are taken by heave-nets and hand- 
nets, like gigantic shrimp-nets, the larger ones 19 feet, the 
smaller 6 feet wide. The fishermen were apt to quarrel for the 
best places on the shore, which, however, were chosen by 
a custom called ‘ mills.’ 1 A number of small hills of sand 
are made, according to the number of fishermen who want 



316 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



places, and are arranged in a circle. The last man who 
comes up is blindfolded, and set a short distance off, while 
each man chooses a hillock of sand, with one for the man 
blindfolded ; the latter is then brought up, set in the 
centre of the circle of hills, the bandage taken off his eyes, 
and he proceeds to kick down one of the hillocks. The 
man who chose that hillock has choice of position in the 
water, and the second, third, fourth, and so on, are chosen 
as the owners of the heaps alternately next to the one 
kicked down. 

This rude lottery was capable of abuse, and the Inspec- 
tors were appealed to by the fishermen to settle their 
disputes. 

Lectures and literary work went on during these years 
as heretofore. 

‘ The Log-Book of a Fisherman and Zoologist ’ was 
published in 1875, collecting and enlarging articles on 
varied subjects. 

In the same year, in addition to his usual contributions 
to ‘Land and Water’ and other papers, Frank Buck- 
land undertook a new edition of £ White’s Natural His- 
tory of Selborne,’ adding a store of original observations. 
To this Lord Selborne contributed a chapter on the 
Arclimology of Selborne, and Mr. Delamotte some beau- 
tiful illustrations. 

Frank Buckland was an ardent admirer of Gilbert 
White, with whom, notwithstanding the interval of a 
century, he had much in common ; a like keen observation 
of nature, and power of opening the eyes and ears of 
others to the wonders which daily surround us. 

Did good Gilbert White, when he watched the flight of 



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317 



birds in bis quiet parsonage garden, noted their song, and 
marked the opening and close of flowers, think that his 
letters would be read with delight, and multiplied in 
successive editions a hundred years afterwards ; or was he 
all unconscious of the pleasure and profit he was storing 
up for succeeding generations ? 

In July 1875 Frank Buckland went to Windsor, at the 
request of Prince Christian , 1 to examine into the plague of 
frogs,’ and was presented to the Queen. 

Adopting Nature’s principle of 1 Eat, and be eaten,’ he 
advised to turn out the ducks to devour the frogs. 

He made a report on the subject, with which the Queen 
expressed herself much pleased. In the following year 
the Queen visited his museum. 

1 May 13, 1876. — Her Majesty the Queen visited my 
Fish Museum. Met her at the door and conducted her 
right round the Museum, explaining salmon-breeding, casts 
of salmon, Prince Christian’s pike, seal story, whale story, 
the big silurus, the big carp. Spoke also to the Empress 
of Germany, the Duke of Edinburgh, Sir Bartle Frere, 
and others. Professor Owen congratulated me on the 
appearance of the Museum.’ 

In 1876 one of the oldest home pets, c my poor old 
Hag,’ died, to the grief of her master, who showed his 
sincere sympathy in this account of his dumb friend : — 

‘ Those of my friends, who know my working-room at 
Albany Street, will recollect that I always have attached 
to my staff as “ chamberlains ” several monkeys. For the 
last seven years the “ old Hag ” and Tiny have lived in a 
parrot’s cage by the side of my fire, and in cold weather 
they were put into their night cage, and put before 



318 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



the fire till the morning. Last summer a lady asked me 
to take charge of her pet monkey, Jenny, offering me at 
the same time Jenny’s large cage. Since the summer 
the three monkeys have lived in my room in this palace- 
like cage. 

£ I am sorry to say there are now only two monkeys in 
the cage, for it grieves me much to report that the “ old 
Hag ” has gone the way of all monkeys. 

c A few months ago the Hag began to eat her tail, not 
an uncommon thing for monkeys to do when their health 
is failing ; she gnawed away about two inches from the 
end of her tail. I tried to stop the progress of the 
disease, but in vain. At last I cured it for a while by 
giving her raw rumpsteak to eat. About three weeks ago 
the poor old thing’s health failed again, and in spite of port 
wine and the best of nourishing food, she got weaker and 
weaker, till during the past few days she could not walk — 
in fact, could hardly stand. When I came down on Sunday 
morning I could not see the Hag in the cage. John the 
page boy said she was in her box, but would not take her 
breakfast ; so I got into the cage, and was heartily grieved 
to find the poor old Hag in a sitting attitude quite dead. 

‘ The old Hag was a very remarkable monkey ; for 
nearly twelve years she has been my constant companion, 
sitting close by my side in the corner of the cage* warming 
herself in the winter, and in summer asking me, in 
her own way, to put her and Tiny out in the sun. 

‘ The life and adventures of “ Hag and Tiny ” in days 
gone by are fully recorded in my “ Log-Book of a Fisher- 
man and Zoologist.” They used formerly to be allowed to 
run about the room loose ; but one day, when I was playing 



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319 



with the Hag, she bit me in the right thumb, and this 
was just at the time when I was excessively busy with 
official work. I showed the old Hag the blood streaming 
from my hand, and said, <£ You bad old Ilag ! The poor 
thing knew as well as possible that she had done me some 
mischief, for she looked at me in a pitiful way, and talked 
monkey — I have learned to talk monkey long ago — saying, 
“ I am very sorry that I bit you ; it was an accident.” 

‘ The Hag had two distinct faces — I mean expressions. 
One was that of dolce far niente, when she was lying in 
front of the fire warming herself, after the manner of a 
cat. At this time her pretty brown eyes were always 
fixed on mine, and when writing, many an idea I have 
obtained from looking into the dear Hag’s brilliant eyes. 

f From having lived so long continually in my room, 
there was a sort of mutual understanding between us ; and 
if ever an animal thought, it was the old Hag. It was 
purely the language of the eye, for I could tell from her 
look what she wanted; and lam pretty sure she could 
read my thoughts in her own way. When I was hard at 
work, and the room quite quiet, the Hag wore her face of 
contentment ; when, however, she was enraged, she was 
quite a different monkey. She would bristle her hair up 
on the top and around her head, and all over her body, so 
that she looked twice as big as she really was ; she would 
gape wide, open her mouth and show her sharp incisor 
teeth, looking the veiy picture of rage and fury. She 
would then fly on to the bars of the cage, and shake them 
tremendously, while she “ rattled her whistle,” as I called 
it, i.e. uttered her cry of defiance and rage/ for she was a 
true, plucky little monkey. She was about the same size 



320 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



as an average-sized cat, only with a longer tail. For some 
unknown reason she had taken a most intense dislike to 
Mrs. Buckland’s sister ; if she only heard her voice she 
would begin to get in a rage, more than once she has 
pulled her dress nearly off her back, and often and often I 
have seen her caught by the hair by the Hag and hanging 
on to the cage like the pictures of Absalom suspended 
from the tree. The Hag, however, was greatest possible 
friends with Mrs. Buckland, who used frequently to take 
her out and nurse her of an evening. Mrs. Buckland can 
tame any animal in the world — ecce signam , myself. The 
Hag’s perquisites for nuts and sweets were the coppers 
out of my coat pocket. On Sunday she had sixpenny 
worth of nuts and sweetstuff. 

1 Somehow or other the old Hag always knew when it 
was 1 o’clock. Regularly every day, about five minutes to 
1, she used to cry for her dinner; in fact, the cat’s-meat 
man and Tiny and the Hag were as good as watches tome. 
Exactly at half-past 1 2 every day, I hear my cat’s-meat 
man in the street calling “ Meat ; ” if I don’t hear him 
the parrot immediately commences to call “ Meat, meat.'’ 
Old grey poll parrot has been in my room much longer 
than the Hag, and can take off to a nicety the various 
cries of the monkeys. I have also a thrush whose song is 
very beautiful. The parrot is picking up the thrush’s 
song nicely ; he has as yet only got the first words of the 
thrush’s song, viz., “ knee-deep, knee-deep, knee-deep. 
Poll is now trying to imitate the bark of a little suricate 
which is running about the house. 

< Tim monkeys’ dinner consists of boiled potatoes, 
brought up on a tin tray. The Hag and Tiny always 



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321 



dined together, one on either side of the tray, but poor 
Jenny never got a bit to eat till they were satisfied. Jenny 
knew all about this, and sat contentedly looking at the 
Hag and Tiny until her turn came to have her meal, then 
she came down and dined by herself. 

‘ The old Hag and Tiny were the greatest possible 
friends. I have had Tiny about seven years ; Mr. Bartlett 
brought her down in a money-bag from the Zoological 
Gardens for a dead monkey ; but Mrs. Buckland, being an 
excellent nurse to animals, brought her round. Tiny always 
acknowledged the superior authority of the Hag, in the 
same sort of way a young lady acknowledges the superiority 
of her chaperone. Tiny is always looking out for mischief, 
and when the Hag was sitting on the bar of the cage, she 
would pull the old Hag’s tail, sharp like a bell-rope, and 
then look the other way, as if she had not done it. The 
old Hag would show her teeth at Tiny, as much as to say, 
“ Don’t you do that again.” On some occasions, however, 
Tiny went a little too far, and the Hag could not stand it 
any longer ; would rush after her, and give her a jolly good 
whacking, pinching, and biting ; I don’t think, however, 
she really hurt Tiny. An occasional whacking from the 
Hag did Tiny good. If the Hag was taken out of the 
cage, Tiny would cry after her dreadfully ; her cry is “ whoa, 
whoa,” a pretty plaintive musical note ; and if she thought 
anyone was hurting the Hag, or teasing her, she would go 
perfectly mad with rage. I took particular care to observe 
what Tiny did when the Hag was dead; she evidently 
knew something had happened. Some vague idea of alarm 
had crossed her mind, for she walked up and down, looking- 
in a puzzled manner at the Hag, and then at mo, as though 



Y 



322 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



she wanted to find out by my looks what was the matter. 
The whole of Sunday Tiny was in a terrible state of mind, 
looking round and listening for every footstep upon the 
stairs, and watching the door. When John and myself 
went near her, she would fly at us immediately ; she evi- 
dently thought we had done something to her old friend 
the Hag. She seems now quite to have forgotten all about 
it, except when I call, “ Hag, Hag ! ” she then looks 
anxiously round the room. The only one thing that 
seriously alarmed the Hag and Tiny was a snake, dead or 
alive. The old Hag was excessively curious, and, when a 
parcel was brought in, she would watch and watch until she 
saw what was inside. The greatest fun I could have with 
the Hag and Tiny was to let them unpack a snake. I would 
put a snake into several coverings, and the monkeys would 
tear away the paper, thinking there was sweetstuff in the 
centre of the parcel. The moment they saw the snake they 
exhibited unmistakable signs of fear, getting to the top of 
the cage, and chattering at the snake. I have come to 
the conclusion the poor old thing died purely of old age. 
She must have been, I calculate, fourteen years old ; her 
coat the last two years has been getting quite silvery. 

‘ My motto has been, “ Love me, love my monkey.” 
Those who knew my monkeys personally will, I am sure, 
be sorry that I have lost such a dear friend as my poor old 
Hag.’ 

A few months later he narrated the life and death of 
another of his pets, the reigning suricate. 

‘For the last eight months there has been running 
about the house, quite free and uncontrolled, my little 
Jemmy. My Jemmy is a zenick, or suricate. They are 



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323 



sometimes wrongfully called the prairie-dog, but he is 
neither dog, nor does he live on the prairie. Still, he 
has a wonderful voice, not at all unlike the barking of a 
dog. His general appearance much resembles a small 
ichneumon or mongoose, but to my mind he rather 
resembles a large rat, only that his nose is much more 
pointed, like a fox. When he is at home he lives in 
South Africa, and burrows in the sand like a rabbit. A 
friend of mine tells me that he has often disturbed colonies 
of them, and that they instantly bolt into their holes. 
Jemmy was very good at a mouse, either alive or dead. 
He was a greedy little rascal, breakfasting first with the 
servants, and twice upstairs afterwards. Whenever John 
brought up anything to eat, Jemmy was sure to follow 
him up for his share. He was excessively tame, but the 
only people he disliked were little children, and his 
delight was to bite their white legs. His pace was 
generally a canter, with his tail stretched out straight 
behind, and he was very fond of cantering upstairs barking- 
in front of any person. Before he entered my room, he 
always stood at the door with one leg up like a pointer 
dog, and peeped into the room. 

‘ People were very much struck with his intelligent 
appearance, his jet black eyes looking most amiable, and, 
at the same time, plaintive. He was so gentle in his dis- 
position that I used to call him “ poor little fellow,” and 
he knew his name quite well, although I fancied he was 
somewhat deaf. He had long sharp claws on his fore- 
legs, and would scratch at everything, particularly between 
the joints of the floor. The moment a newspaper was 
thrown on the floor, he immediately began scratching it to 



324 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



pieces. He would hunt for mice behind the books. He 
was a great friend of the dustmen, because they sometimes 
brought him mice. Being an animal that loves a hole, he 
was fond of getting into boots as they lay on the floor, 
and I have often had to shake Jemmy out of my boot 
before putting it on. Of the three cats in the house he 
was complete master. The cat’s meat man comes almost to 
a minute, at half past twelve, and when the cats rushed 
to the area, Jemmy was there too. He would steal the 
meat from the cats. When he got near the cat and she 
began to show fight, he would back himself straight up, 
and putting his head down between his fore-legs, would 
be sure to have some of the meat. One cat was an 
especial favourite. John (the buttons) thinks it is because 
he played with her from a kitten, and he would bite any- 
one who interfered with her. He would sit up before the 
fire on his hind-legs, and warm himself. When the fire 
was going down, he would get under the grate, and would 
suddenly scuttle out with his coat all on fire from a hot 
cinder having dropped on him. 

‘ Besides his barking, Jemmy had another note, which 
sounded like a thrashing machine. He would make this 
noise when tickled, at which time he showed his teeth, 
but did not attempt to bite. 

‘ When hungry he used to go to the kitchen to the 
servants, and “quack, quack, quack,” till he got something. 
He was not friends with the laughing jackass, who, when- 
ever he came near, put up the crest and feathers on his 
head at him. I do not know which was most afraid 
of the other, the jackass of Jemmy, or Jemmy of the 
jackass. With Jenny and Tiny, the monkeys, he was an 



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325 



especial favourite. When any person touched Jemmy at 
the fire, the monkeys took his part, thinking someone 
would hurt him. 

‘ On Thursday last, Jemmy was in the casting-room, 
when my secretary hearing a strange noise, turned round 
and saw Jemmy was on his back on the floor in a severe 
fit. He was taken upstairs to my studio, and I put his 
feet in hot water, slit his ear and gave him a dose of 
calomel; in fact, I gave him every medical attention; 
but it was of no use, as he died on the following day. 
When the poor little fellow was struggling before the fire, 
Jenny and Tiny thought that their favourite was being 
injured by myself. They made frightful faces, desperately 
shook the bars of their cage, and almost cried with anger. 
These monkeys must have known that something serious 
was the matter with Jemmy, or they would not have made 
such a demonstration ; in fact I never saw them so furious 
before. Even now, they have hardly forgiven me for 
supposed injuries I had done to Jemmy. Tiny especially 
misses him, and when I call “ Jemmy, Jemmy, Jemmy,” 
she looks anxiously about expecting to see Jemmy come 
round the corner.’ 

Besides scorpions and snakes, which, in their transit 
to Albany Street, caused anxiety to the Postal Depart- 
ment, a variety of beautiful natural objects were also sent 
there. Some of these Frank Buckland described in 
July 1877. 

‘Mr. L has been kind enough to send me a most 

lovely specimen of Venus’s slippers. These slippers are 
far more beautiful than anything yet turned out in the 
workshop of a London or Parisian ladies’ bootmaker. 



326 



LIFE OF FRANK B'JCKLAND 



These beautiful specimens were not found in the wardrobe 
of any small-footed human beauty, but floating far out at 
sea, in the Mediterranean on the French coast. Each 
slipper is about an inch and a half in length, and half an 
inch in the widest part. They are of a lovely glass-like 
consistency, and in certain lights resplendent like jelly- 
fish. They are the shape of a handsome shoe; the edge 
of the shoe projects in a very ornamental dentated margin, 
and the toe part is highly ornamented, as if with em- 
broidery insertion. It is one of the pterapoda or wing- 
footed molluscs, so called from the fln-like lobes which 
project from the sides, and are evidently analogous to the 
similar organs in some of the sea-snails. These append- 
ages are used almost like wings, the creature flapping its 
way vigorously through the water, just as a butterfly urges 
its devious course through the air. 

‘ I have also received two magnificent specimens of 
the golden beetle from India. It is about the size of a 
very large lady-bird, and certainly the most beautiful 
insect I ever examined. Its appearance is that of a small, 
golden tortoise, delicately set under a transparent shield 
of thin horn or pale tortoiseshell. The colours are a most 
beautiful emerald and gold mixed ; so beautiful that a 
lady has borrowed the beetles from me for her jeweller, 
who has made an enamel model of them, forming most 
lovely ornaments. 

£ If our friends would pay more attention to the beau- 
tiful works of the Creator, they would, I think, derive more 
real pleasure than from the contemplation of the works 
of man, all of which I consider far inferior to Nature’s own 
design and handiwork.’ 



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327 



Humbler and commoner insects also attracted his 
attention. 

‘Flies/ he wrote, ‘must have a wonderful power of 
scent. Let the reader try the experiment of putting 
down a bit of stinking meat in an open place or on a 
window-sill, where no flies are about ; in a very short 
time, if I mistake not, the blue-bottles will begin to put 
in an appearance. Flies are most useful as scavengers, 
inasmuch as they lay their eggs in decaying animal 
substances ; and most interesting it is to watch a fly lay 
her eggs. These eggs hatch out in an amazingly short 
time, and the gentles very soon eat up the substance upon 
which they are deposited. It is said, in fact, that the 
produce of two blue-bottle flies would eat up a dead horse 
quicker than one lion. The elephant is such a gigantic 
and powerful animal that he has few animate enemies. The 
greatest enemies to elephants in their wild state are flies ; 
the elephant has no knowledge of surgery, and the fly-blows 
are the death of him. I lately heard of an ingenious plan, 
where flies were made subservient to the wants of man. 
A poisoned rat had crawled under the floor of a very 
smart dining-room, and had died there. The room in 
consequence became uninhabitable for a time. All the 
boards of the room were about to be removed, when some- 
body suggested that a blue-bottle fly should be turned out. 
Mr. Blue-bottle hunted about the room for some time ; at 
last he lighted upon a certain spot on the floor ; the 
single board was removed, and there, sure enough, was 
the dead rat. The blue-bottle had found him out by 
means of the scent coming up through the crack in the 
boards. 



328 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



‘ I was lately watching a sunbeam ; the shutters were 
partially closed, and the sun’s rays came into the room 
through a small hole only. Among the sunbeams were 
playing some six or eight common house-flies ; they 
generally flew in circles, and one might imagine them to 
be eagles soaring among the clouds, and looking for their 
prey. I once saw an eagle so high in the air that he did 
not look larger than one of these flies. The curious part of 
this race of the flies was the funny way in which every 
now and then they seemed to attack each other, rush- 
ing together quickly and instantly separating. All this 
was done with such rapidity that the eye could hardly 
follow their movements. They also every now and then 
tumbled, or pretended to tumble, after the manner of 
rooks falling in the air when wet weather is coming 
on. 

4 Those who are fond of natural history, and of watch- 
ing the habits and actions of living creatures, need not go 
out of their own rooms to find occupation ; they will find 
plenty of interest in watching those hitherto neglected, 
because so common insects, house and blue-bottle flies.’ 
Frank Buckland’s quick observant eyes were always 
watching the habits of living creatures, and found enter- 
tainment alike in the house, in the country, or in the 
humours of the London streets. 

In August he described his 4 experiences of the London 
season from the 'bus-top ’ : — 

4 1 ride generally down to the Fisheries Office on the 
top of an omnibus. The top of an omnibus is a grand 
place. One can write notes there, think there, smoke there, 
get the fresh air there, get wet through there. 1 like to 



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329 



get wet through, and the harder it rains or blows the more 
I enjoy my ride on the ’bus-top. 

‘ From the ’bus-top I see so many pictures of real life, 
that a thought has come across me to “ paper some of 
the things I have seen and heard. London streets and the 
people in them are in fact a moving panorama of real life ; 
besides which, it is fine training for one’s faculties of 
observation and inquiry. Some of the busmen often say 
funny things, and I instantly book them. “ Wo — o, hold 
hard,” I said the other day, descending from a “ yellow 
twopenny,” at the corner of Westminster Bridge. “ Stop 
the pj^ehanner, Jim ; here’s a gent as wants to get down,” 
shouted the conductor. 

c On another occasion the ’bus changed horses in the 
middle of the street ; the ostler was somewhat slow ; the 
conductor cried out, “Look alive, father! here’s Jack a- 
coming.” So I changed my place from the knifeboard to 
look at “Father,” a disagreeable old man, over seventy, 
from the look of him ; but such a coachman ! He drove his 
pair of screws splendidly. A brougham got in his way, 
and did he not abuse the “ tea-and-kettle servant,” that’s 
all! The words “Jack’s a-coming” had put him out. 
J ack (I found out by looking) was a young man who drove 
the ’bus that followed “ Father’s ” ’bus, and who, I sup- 
pose, hunted the old fellow to put him out. 

‘ On another occasion I heard the ’bus driver and a 
passenger discussing somebody who was not a favourite. 
“ Bless ye,” said the driver, “ I could make a better man 
than him out of old tea-leaves.” 

‘ Will my readers kindly notice, that if they see one 
thing of a peculiar kind they are certain to see its ditto, 



330 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



it not that clay, then very soon afterwards. I saw not very 
long ago a little boy at the corner of Vigo Street. He 
was the most extraordinary bandy-legged and deformed- 
footed little urchin I ever saw, his feet seemed put on the 
wrong way, like the Indians put on their horse-shoes the 
wrong way to make their pursuers “ run to heel.” My 
first idea was, what an anatomical preparation I could 
make out of that boy, or, at least, I should like to cast 
him. 

‘ In Parliament Street, not ten minutes afterwards, I 
saw a cripple on a board, shoving himself along on a bit of 
board with paddles made out of sticks. The cripple would 
have made a fine companion picture to the bandy-legged 
boy. 

c Another day, at Regent Circus, Oxford Street, from 
the ’bus-top I saw a girl with an immense stock of fiery 
red hair. I took out my note-book, and timed the girl. 
I saw another red-heaclecl girl opposite Negretti and 
Zambra’s shop ; a second near the Life Insurance Office, 
Regent Street, and a third at the corner of W aterloo Place, 
by the Athenaeum. “ So ho,” I said, “ my theories are 
right, three red-headed girls in seven minutes ! ” All the 
red-headed girls seemed to have come out together the 
same day. I looked out four subsequent days, and did not 
see a single red-headed girl. 

‘ There is an extraordinary old woman, that I see almost 
daily from the ’bus-top, somewhere between Charing Cross 
and the bookseller’s shop at the corner of Parliament 
Street. When she was a baby, somebody must have tied 
her head and heels together with a bit of string, just as 
they make the crooks of walking-sticks. She is a very 



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331 



old woman now, and I am afraid very poor ; lier spine 
seems to he in the figure of S, and she carries her head on 
about the level of her hip. I must find out the history of 
this old woman. 

‘The night the great Peabody was buried in West- 
minster Abbey, I heard the bell toll as I was sitting at my 
desk writing very busily. Shortly afterwards, I saw an 
old woman wrapped up in a shabby cloak, and apparently 
warm, though the night was cold, at the corner of a public- 
house opposite the Home Office. She was selling baked 
chestnuts ; and a bright charcoal fire burning in what, I 
should think, had once been a rushlight case, helped to 
keep the poor old soul warm. Two shoeblack boys were 
standing near her, dressed in red-baize jackets. One of 
them — an intelligent open-faced English lad — had a penny 
evening paper in his hand, and he was reading a para- 
graph, round which ominous black lines were printed. I 
looked at the paper as I passed ; the paragraph was 
headed, “ Death of Peabody, the Poor Man’s Friend.” I 
stopped and looked, not intruding on the scene, of course. 
The boy went on reading ; the poor old woman folded her 
arms, and as the boy went on reading, she looked up 
through her old worn spectacles, and said, “ Bless him, and 
God bless him for his kindness to us poor.” Artists, where 
are your eyes ? Why do you not look about you ? What 
grand natural pictures you would see if you would only 
deign to look at what is before you ! I ask my friends, 
the public, if a greater compliment to Peabody’s memory 
could be possibly paid than a picture embodying the 
scene I have attempted to describe in words. 

‘ I saw a funny scene one day that made me roar with 



332 



LIFE OF FRANK 13UCKLAND 



laughter. I like to laugh out, I don’t often get a chance. 
It was a drunken man fighting a block of Wenham Lake 
ice. I pass the Wenham Lake ice-shop at Charing Cross 
twice daily. One day I saw a sturdy fellow of the 
goods-porter class, on the other side of the road by the 
Drummonds’ Bank door, with a huge block of ice on his 
head. He was a little drunk, and when he was in the 
middle of one of his rolls, like an ironclad in mid-ocean, 
the ice slipped off his shoulders and slipped on the 
pavement. The fellow stopped, shook his fist at the ice, 
and, I should think, swore considerably at it ; at last he 
went up and kicked it with his great hob-nailed boots. 
This, of course, made the ice slip away ; the fool of a man 
then followed it, uttering profane words, and then down 
he fell with his nose on the ice. This made him more 
furious still, and he punched the ice as though it was a 
man’s head. Some good-natured fellow offered to help 
him put the ice-block on his shoulders ; but, of course, it 
instantly came down with a crash. The man was too drunk 
to hold it up. As the ’bus moved off, the last thing I saw 
was the ice-porter pitching into the poor man, who had 
offered to assist him. This is all I know ; the next day, 
as I passed the place, the ice, porter, and all were gone. 

1 Another curious scene, taken from life. A cab-horse 
in a four-wheeler at the stand by Palace Yard ; the cab- 
horse fast asleep with his head hanging down; the cab- 
man also fast asleep, leaning against the horse. The cab- 
horse (I suppose in his sleep) kicks the man ; the cabman 
instantly wakes, and kicks the cab-horse in return. “ You 
brute,” he said, “ I can kick as well as you can,” and then 
they went on at it again — the cab-horse and the cabman 



SPECIAL INQUIRIES, ETC. 



333 



kick for kick for a minute or so, till at last I settled 
the dispute by saying, “Hi! cabby, four-wheeler, go to 
so-and-so.” “ Right you are,” said the man, and we 
all three trundled off, as though nothing particular had 
happened. 

1 I must say a few words about an old acquaintance — 
“Kate, the flower woman.” She is a good type of the 
many industrious London poor, who get a precarious living 
by flower-selling in the streets of this vast metropolis. 
Mrs. O’Brian — Kate — is an Irish woman. Eight years 
ago her husband ran away to America, and left her to 
shift for herself and her two children, a boy of ten and a 
girl of eight. For eight long years this industrious 
woman has sold flowers at the bottom of Windmill Street. 
She has given me an outline of her business. She goes to 
Covent Garden market to buy flowers at 4 o’clock in 
the summer, and 5 in the winter. Camellias cost 6s. 
per dozen, and white roses, 3s. ; ferns, Is. a bunch, and 
doubles (whatever they may be), 6d. a dozen. On her 
return from market, it takes till 2 o’clock to make up 
her flowers into little bouquets, which she sells at 4 d. or 
6d. each. She has great taste in arranging the colours of 
her flowers. She comes out to sell at 3 in the after-- 
noon, and stays out sometimes as late as 12 o’clock at 
night, holding the flower-basket all the time on her arm. 
The profit for these nine hours is Is., sometimes Is. 6d., 
and on a very good night, 2s. She pays 3s. 3d. a week 
for lodgings. 

‘ An immense crowd at the north-west corner of St. 
Martin’s Church, all the people gazing intently upwards to 
the steeple. I got off the ’bus, of course, to see “ what 



334 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



was up,” and Mr. ’Busman and Conductor looked as 
though they would have liked to have stayed also, only 
the “ Bobby ” came up and told them to “ move on.” I 
looked and looked, but could see nothing, and my eyes 
are not particularly dull. At last, perched up high — very 
high — on a ledge of the steeple, I saw a poor little canary- 
bird all by himself. I fancy the canary-bird was flattered 
by the attendance of the crowd, for he was evidently 
addressing them with his “ Tweet, tweet.” He looked 
like a public orator in a swallowtail coat addressing the 
multitude upon the rights of men or women, or animals if 
you please, and especially the rights of canary-birds, but 
all he said, or seemed to say (for I was too far below to 
hear him), was “ Tweet, tweet. Where am I ? Do tell 
me how to get home. I know my kind mistress is crying 
for me. She left the cage-door open, and I, like a fool, 
thought ‘ to better myself’; and here I am on the top of 
St. Martin’s steeple, and I am frightfully hungry, and 
can’t find any bird-seed on the steeple ; and what a pack 
of fools you gaping, wingless idiots down in the street 
below me are. Now I’m off. Here goes.” So the canary- 
bird, that had attracted a larger audience than the Prime 
Minister or the Archbishop of Canterbury could command, 
opened his wings and flew away. The crowd dispersed. 
I took the next ’bus, and wished, when I got to the office, 
that I could get an old knowing salmon on to the top of 
St. Martin’s steeple, and make him give his own ideas as 
to how the Salmon Acts affect his interests.’ 

While farmers and hungry Christmas folk were pum- 
melling the fat sides of beasts at the Cattle Show, it was 
Frank Buckland’s annual custom to visit the penny shows 



SPECIAL INQUIRIES, ETC. 



335 



which congregate outside, to him far more attractive, in 
their oddity and variety, than the obesity within. In 
December 1877, he thus described his annual visit: — 

‘ The Cattle Show at Islington is fully appreciated by 
naturalists, inasmuch as it forms a nucleus for the coming 
together of the many penny and twopenny natural history 
shows which, I am sorry to say, are not so numerous as in 
former days. The showman’s business is a business "per se. 
It is not to be wondered that the showman has to exhibit 
much of the “ gift of the gab ” to draw in customers to his 
show, as the more declamatory the orator, and the louder 
his voice, the more likely is his place to fill. 

‘We used to read at school, “ Natura hominum novitatis 
avida,” that is to say, everybody likes novelties, and this is 
the secret of the success of all shows. 

‘ An experienced showman has informed me that 
nothing is easier than to get up a show. It is only 
necessary to build a simple wall, make a speech about the 
wall, saying you must not look over, and everybody im- 
mediately wants to look over the wall, and will pay for the 
privilege of so doing. In the middle of the Cattle Show 
week I went my usual rounds of the exhibitions outside 
the Cattle Show, with my friend Mr. Bartlett. These 
penny showmen now know both of us by sight pretty well. 
On the whole, the shows of this year were fairly good. I 
have before described Fatima, the bodyless and legless girl 
lately exhibited in Tottenham Court Boad, and about the dis- 
posal of whose lower bodily half there was so much dispute. 
I have since obtained some excellent evidence that the afore- 
said Fatima has really legs and feet. I passed over the road 
to a public-house opposite Fatima’s show, and when dis- 



LIFE OF FRANK BUC'KLAND ‘ 



33(5 

cussing with the landlord the cleverness of the exhibition, he 
assured me that Fatima had really arms and legs. He was 
quite positive of this fact, because every evening after the 
exhibition was closed Fatima ran across to his bar for the 
supper beer. Fatima seems to have been such a profitable 
exhibition, that there were two Fatimas outside the Cattle 
Show at Islington, namely, “ Zaara, the living bodyless 
girl,” and “ Zariffa, the trunkless lady.” The compliments 
paid to both these ladies were extraordinary. 

‘ Zariffa was “ the talk of the Continent,” “ the amaze- 
ment of thousands,” and had “ been visited by all the 
crown-ed ’edds of Europe.” It is a curious fact (if we 
believe the showman) that the “ crown-ed ’edds of Europe” 
have nothing else to do, but to spend their time gazing in 
admiration at giants, fat women, and at other monstrosities 
and freaks of nature, living and dead. 

‘ Zariffa was, like Fatima, apparently bisected ; the 
trick is optical, and arranged by looking-glasses. Zariffa 
was a, handsome, dark-haired, dark-eved girl, always smiling 
and laughing. Zaara was a fair-haired girl, stupid, sleepy, 
and yawning. Next door to Zaara there was a fried-fish 
shop. Fried fish had been done away with for the time, 
and outside was a flaming picture, with plenty of smoke 
and streams of blood, representing the “ Turkish Atrocities.” 
“ The Wild Man of the Woods,” besides many other inter- 
esting and important and historical personages, were to be 
seen inside the show for the large sum of one penny. A 
loud-sounding gong was the means used to attract visitors 
to the Atrocities. The proprietor of the “ wild man ” was 
jealous of too many people entering the portals of the 
body less woman, so says he to his comrade, “ Sound the 



SPECIAL INQUIRIES, ETC. 



337 



gong, Jim. Bill’s doing all the business.” The gong not 
proving sufficiently attractive, another ruse was resorted to, 
with which I was mightily pleased. The showman sud- 
denly appeared before the door of the show with a carter’s 
huge whip, threw his arms about as if to prevent something 
or somebody coming out of the show. “ Keep him back ! 
don’t let him come out ! ” he cried, as he stood with his 
shoulders to the door, while strange yells, and the usual 
penny-show cry of wild men issued from inside. According 
to the showman’s account, the wild man had tried to make 
his escape, and he announced that, after he had again been 
properly secured, the public would be admitted to examine 
him. This announcement immediately fetched Mr. Bartlett 
and myself, who paid the whole price of one roomful in 
order to get a private view of the wild man aforesaid. 
The moment we entered the stuffy, pokey little fish-shop, a 
mite of a girl, dressed in a very old shabby tinselled coloured 
gown, began to explain the waxworks, which formed the 
principal part of this show. She gabbled over the task of 
explanation at a most tremendous rate. Her waxworks 
consisted of a lady all in black with very long hair, and 
glassy, staring eyes ; several wax figures, male and female, 
which might have been shown as anybody ; a figure of a 
very thin old man, and a human skeleton in a cupboard. 
The child’s gabble was something in this way : “ Ladies 
and gentlemen, this is the most interesting exhibition in 
the ’ole of the Cattle Show, as you will perceive from the 
figures outside. It have been visited by 6,248 people, and 
they have all expressed their satisfaction. This,” pointino- 
to the wax figure in black, “ is the Turkish atrocity. She 



z 



338 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



vas a lady of rank, and one day when she vent to church, 
they cut her in two halves with a sharp sword, and took 
one half of her to one side of the church, and the tother 
half to the other. This is a hold man as starved hisself to 
death in Lambeth. He was a miser, and after his death 
they found a bag of money under his ’ead. These other is 
all the best murderers as has been known to the public 
for the last three years. This is the skeleton of Rosina 
Watson, who throwed herself over Waterloo Bridge. She 
have three hundred and sixty-five bones in her body, the 
same as there is days in the year.” This sharp-faced 
bright-eyed little street Arab finished her oration thus — 
“ I have been privileged of going round the noble company 
for coppers, and I hope the gentlemen will patronise me 
and this ’ere show.” We then asked for the wild man, who 
was behind a curtain, which occasionally moved in a 
mysterious manner. It appeared that the wild man had 
been peeping through the curtain at us all the time, and, 
when the girl had done speaking, he rushed out and shook 
me by the hand, and claimed me as an old friend, who had 
“ papered ” (or written about) him for these last three Cattle 
Show years. Bartlett, I, and the wild man immediately 
fraternised. The wild man is a very ugly nigger, tremen- 
dously strong, with a huge mouth, white teeth, and awful- 
looking eyes. He gets his living by making hideous faces 
— his gorilla face is capital — and by his extraordinary 
voice, which is more like the bellowing of a bull than 
anything else ; hence I believe his professional sobriquet of 
“ Leather-mouth Jemmy.” The other accomplishments of 
the wild man are, I believe, that of biting off the heads of 
live rats and eating their bodies, dancing on red-hot irons, 



SPECIAL INQUIRIES, ETC. 



339 



and drinking spoonfuls of lighted naphtha; so that al- 
together he is a very accomplished wild man. 

‘In the next-door show was a “feather-bodied woman, 
half bird, half fish.” “ She is alive, alive, alive.” A greater 
untruth could not have been told; nevertheless we entered 
with the crowd. The history of the remarkable lady was, 
that she was found sitting on a desolate rock, in the middle 
of Australia ; she was then half dead and half alive. She 
was discovered by an American traveller, who took her to 
America, where she lived for fifteen months. The explan- 
ation over, the fellow opened a very rickety old box, and 
displayed a hideous, faded wax figure, consisting of a 
creature with the tail made of a hake’s skin, a feather- 
covered body, the features of a monster, and the beak of an 
eagle. He would not give us a minute of time to examine, 
but slammed to the box with “ The exhibition is now 
concluded, and th»ank you, ladies and gentlemen, for your 
patronage.” 

‘ In the next show was exhibited the “ Irish Prize 
Wonder,” a hideous fat woman, who could hardly waddle. 
This is a new fat woman, for I have known nearly all the 
fat women, but the picture outside is the same that has 
served for exhibition for many previous fat women. The 
weight of this “ Irish wonder ” was said to be forty stone 
— that is, 560 lb. The “ Indescribable Female ” and the 
“ Indiarubber Man” was the next show we went to. 
According to the showman’s account, the “ Indescribable 
Female ” had escaped for refuge to a cave, where the lime 
encrusted all round her and “ kivered up her bones.” 
After a long story, very well told, he brought out the dried 
body of a child about five years old, minus one leg and 



340 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



one arm. Common mortar had been placed upon it here 
and there to represent the lime from the cave. The 
“ Indiarubber Man ” was a gymnast, who did everything 
except carry his body in the position it was originally 
intended it should assume. 

‘ Those who do not condescend to go into what I call 
the “ Poor man’s market,” especially on a Saturday night 
in the streets of London, can have no idea what ingenuity 
and perseverance is shown by these “ miserables” (but yet 
I trust happy “ miserables ”) to procure a subsistence. 
Thus, outside the Cattle Show, was a noble-looking old 
fellow who was selling “ The Queen for a penny.” I 
bought a pocketful of statues- representing Her Most 
Gracious Majesty. The statue stands on a black pedestal 
with black velvet lining, and is covered with an oval glass 
about two inches high ; it is really a very neat affair. I 
have examined the statue. The Queen, is made of thin 
wax, but really the statue is not bad at all. The old man 
also had statues of Napoleon, the Sultan, the Emperor of 
Germany, &c. all at one penny. Who would not be a 
potentate at the price ? 

‘ Some poor ragged urchins were selling penny cards, 
called the Christmas puzzle. On the card was represented 
a big oak tree, and three men under the tree, with guns. 
The puzzle is to find a bird and a dog, made by the 
branches of the tree. This is certainly a puzzle, but, when 
made out, a pheasant and a setter-dog are quite apparent 
in outline among the branches of the oak. 

‘ “ A roasting-jack, or a toast-maker, for a penny,” is the 
cry of a poor woman, whose husband is now toiling at 
home, to make the goods for his half-starved wife to sell. 



SPECIAL INQUIRIES, ETC. 



341 



A “ water magnifying glass for a penny.” This is a 
bulb of thin glass full of clear water. It has a splendid 
magnifying power. The “ Old Obadiah and the young 
Obadiah ” for two pence ; two tin figures sitting on a quasi- 
velocipede, two wheels with half a bullet between the 
wheels. These figures do very funny things, and you can't 
upset the riders. The weight is put exactly in the right 
place. I believe the Moncreiff guns are mounted exactly 
on the principle of “ the two Obadiahs.” 

‘ At the last year’s Cattle Show I bought a real telephone 
for a penny. It consisted of two broad rings of tin, covered 
over with dried parchment or dried drum-bladder, like a 
drumhead. A length, some six or eight yards, of cotton, 
formed a communication between the two parchments, and 
conveyed the sound of whispering into the hollow of the 
parchment ring. 

‘ I confess I like the “ cheap jacks,” the “ wild beast 
shows,” the “ talking fishes,” the “ elephant horses,” the 
“ edible dogs,” the “ monster pigs, dwarfs, and giants,” the 
“ living skeletons,” the “ indiarubber dogs,” the brass 
bands, the clowns, the gongs, the row, the chaff, the true 
Cockney “ argot,” i.e. provincialism, often exceedingly 
clever. So “ A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year ” 
to the poor showmen, and good luck to their wondrous 
exhibits, the inspection of which has afforded me, and 
doubtless thousands of visitors, great amusement and fun.’ 



342 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



CHAPTER XIV. 

SEA FISHERIES, BIRD MIGRATIONS, ETC. : 1878. 

In 1878 Frank Buck] and and Mr. Walpole were appointed 
Commissioners to inquire into the condition of the sea 
fisheries of England and Wales, which contribute so 
largely to the food of the people. 

Above a hundred million soles are yearly sold in the 
London market alone, with fifty million plaice and whiting, 
and ten million eels, besides other fish. 

The inquiry lasted from March to December 1878, and 
was resumed in 1879, and extended to the Isle of Man 
in August 1879, the Commissioners’ report being presented 
in September 1879. 

The inquiry proved the almost illimitable wealth of our 
sea fisheries, whose conditions are contrasted to those of 
the salmon fishery. The salmon fishery, confined to 
the rivers, is dependent on freedom of passage, and is 
capable of extinction. The ocean fishery is so vast, that 
man can but little affect it. No regulations were found 
needful for the protection of sea-fish, but only for the 
prevention of disputes among the fishermen ; and, notwith- 
standing the vast quantity of fish annually caught, there 
was no evidence of a falling off of the supply. 

To this report Frank Buckland appended a history of 



SEA FISHERIES, BIRD MIGRATIONS, ETC. 343 

British fish used as food, with observations on the bed of 
the ocean, which is tlieir home ; and on their food, growth, 
structure, and migration. 

The editing of White’s ‘ Natural History of Selborne,’ 
in 1875, with its varied original notes, had directed Frank 
Buckland’s attention especially to the habits of birds. In 
1877 and 1878 a series of papers appeared in ‘Land and 
Water’ and the ‘Daily News,’ containing observations 
he had made or collected upon the vernal and autumnal 
migrations of birds. By these papers he designed not 
only to record facts of natural history, but to encourage in 
others the like habits of observation. Few dwellers in 
London (except the bird-catchers) are aware of the number 
and variety of birds, which haunt the neighbouring woods 
and fields, and offer a constant source of interest, to thoso 
who would study their habits, or listen to their song. 

‘ March . — The annual migration of birds to this 
country has now begun. The two first arrivals have been 
the wheatear and the chiff-chaff ; these come from the 
South of France. The wheatear locates himself on heaths 
and common lands, his favourite resort on arrival being 
the South Downs. According to some, the name of 
wheatear is derived from the plumage of this bird, which 
in the spring carries a white tuft on either side of the 
head. It has been said that the females come a fortnight 
before the males ; but Mr. Davy, the well-known bird- 
dealer, has always found that the hens arrive at the same 
time as the cocks. The London bird-catchers take the 
wheatear by a meal-worm or maggot in a robin trap, 
which is placed on a small hillock, as the habit of the bird 
is to fly from hillock to hillock. The wheatear is splendid 



344 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



eating ; and, before tlie new Act, great numbers were caught 
about Eastbourne, by snares made of horsehair. Before 
the days of railways they were sent pickled to London. 
The wheatear feeds on small beetles and flies, which are 
found on downs where wild thyme is abundant. They 
breed in the month of May, in the neighbourhood of 
quarries. The nest is a simply made structure, and the 
eggs are light blue. 

‘ The chiff-chaff, a merry little bird, may be seen and 
heard on sharp, frosty mornings, sitting in the top of a 
willow, the frost not seeming to take any effect on him. The 
name is taken from the song “ Chiff-chaff, chiff-chaff.” The 
bird-catchers call them the “ chinkey-chank ” They feed 
on minute insects, and are among the earliest to arrive 
and last to leave, sometimes staying till November, 
though usually leaving in October. The nest of these 
birds is a little oven-shaped structure, and in some parts 
these birds are known as “ oven-builders.” They are found 
all over England. 

£ Coming up lately from Bridgewater by the Great 
Western, I kept a good look-out for birds. Starlings were 
in flocks. The jackdaws were making a great noise, and 
very busy getting their nests ready, about the towers of 
Exeter Cathedral. All the way along the line from Taun- 
ton to Paddington the rooks were sitting on the tops of 
the trees, and in many cases the hens were sitting on 
their eggs. The last rookery I saw was in the Marylebone 
Load, where there were sixteen nests. 

£ There is round the base of the rook’s bill a -white skin. 
It is said by some that the feathers have been worn off on 
this part by digging in the ground. My opinion is that it 



SEA FISHERIES, BIRD MIGRATIONS, ETC. 345 

is naturally devoid of feathers, though it is curious to 
observe that the young rooks have feathers at the base of 
the bill, which afterwards disappear. The ravens and 
jackdaws retain the feathers at the base of the bill all their 
lives. 

‘Moles and rooks are great devourers of wireworms. 
I obtained this information from a merchant in ginger- 
bread-nuts, at Harting, Sussex, who was a great authority 
on moles. He tends cows for a contractor, who keeps 
a great many of these animals to make concentrated 
milk for the navy. The moles are of great service ; 
they eat up the worms which eat the grass, and wher- 
ever the moles have been, afterwards the grass grows 
luxuriantly. When the moles have eaten all the grubs 
and worms in one place, they migrate to another, and 
repeat their gratuitous work. The grass where the moles 
have been is always the best for cows. The rooks also help 
to keep down the wireworms. I think it would puzzle 
some philosophers, to explain how the supply of milk to 
the navy depended upon the abundance or absence of rooks 
and moles. 

‘ Dormice, I learn, are very abundant in Lord Ports- 
mouth’s woods at Eggesford, Devon. The woodmen 
working in the plantations often find their nests ; they 
are composed of round balls made of grass and moss, and 
are attached to twigs of low bushes ; they much re- 
semble the wren’s nest, and are about the size of a cricket- 
ball. In very hard weather the door is shut up entirely ; 
they sleep four or five months during the year. Just now 
the dormice are waking up. If a dormant mouse is 
found, and is gradually thawed, either by the hand or by 



346 



LIFE OF I-KANK BUCKLAND 



the fire, lie gives a sharp squeak at the moment of awaken- 
ing. 

£ As the spring months come on, great opportunities for 
observing living creatures will be given to naturalists, 
both in town and country. 

‘ My laughing jackass has woke up considerably 
this last week, and he now laughs loudly about every half- 
hour ; the noise he makes can be heard at a great distance. 

‘ April. — Mr. Davy has brought me news of the arrivals 
of British migratory birds for the spring. As regards the 
nightingale, he informs me that two fine males were taken 
in Surrey on April 7, and several more on the 9th : this is 
eight days earlier than the usual arrival of the nightingale. 
About April 15 the nightingale’s song will be heard in 
any year, in a suitable place, let the weather be what it 
will. Those who wish to test this should go to the neigh- 
bourhood of Hampstead, where at the setting of the sun, 
or early morning, nightingales may at this date almost cer- 
tainly be heard. It is a curious fact, that as soon as the 
male nightingale arrives, he settles down at once in a 
suitable place for nesting, and immediately commences his 
song : this is called by the catchers being “ laired,” i.e. 
taken to a “ lair,” and the birds are to be caught in 
the immediate locality of their lair, any day afterwards 
during' the season. Johnson defines “ lair ” to mean 

o 

“ the couch of a boar or wild beast.” 

Out of the ground uprose, 

As from his lair, the wild beast, where he wends. 

But range the forest by the silver side 
Of some cool stream, where nature shall provide 
Green grass and fattening clover for your fare, 

And mossy caverns for your noontide lair. 



SEA FISHERIES, BIRD MIGRATIONS, ETC. 347 

‘ The nightingale is a very simple-minded bird, and 
easily taken with a bait of common maggots or meal 
worms. If a nightingale is caught off his lair before the 
hens arrive, the place is frequently taken by another male 
within four and twenty hours ; showing that the place they 
have chosen is suitable to their nature. If two male 
nightingales meet on the same lair, a fight ensues, and 
one beats the other off. The males, as a rule, arrive eight 
or ten days before the females, which seems to indicate 
a provision of nature, that the husband shall find a home 
for his wife. The nest of the nightingale is principally com- 
posed of dried oak leaves and grass, and as a rule the pair 
produce five young ones. If they rear these young ones, 
they do not breed again. If the nest is taken, they generally 
go to nest the second time. 

‘Jackdaws and some other birds resemble the night- 
ingales in this respect ; if young jackdaws are left in 
the nest till they are a fortnight old, the old ones will 
not breed again that year. In many parts of the country 
where jackdaws abound, men go round with ladders on 
a special day and take the young birds from the nests ; 
they are very good eating, cooked like young rooks. Jack- 
daws, when they have young, are much in the habit of 
robbing the nests of common sparrows of their young, to 
feed their own young ones : the sparrows have no means 
of protecting themselves, but the call of fear, for which the 
jackdaw does not care. If kept in captivity jackdaws are 
very fond of small birds, dead or alive, and would nip a 
sparrow’s head off in a moment. 

‘ Among other arrivals within the last fortnight are the 
titlarks or the pipits (Anthus cirboreus ') ; they have come 



348 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



in large numbers; these, like the nightingale, ‘‘lair” 
immediately on their arrival. The titlark is sought for 
for improving the song of canaries and linnets. Nestling 
linnets are reared in the company of the titlark; the 
titlark has a song which is called “ wheeting and fearing,” 
and the linnet being a bird which takes a song very freely, 
soon learns to “ wheet and fear ” from the titlark. These 
trained birds are called “ toy linnets” because they have an 
artificial song. 

‘ Blackcaps have also arrived, and may be heard singing 
in tolerable quantities round London : these differ from 
the nightingale and titlark, inasmuch as the cocks and 
hens arrive at the same time. 

‘ On first arriving they frequent the woods, and feed 
upon the ivy, of which they are very fond : in the 
autumn they play havoc among the currants and rasp- 
berries. The blackcap’s song resembles, and is often 
mistaken for, that of the nightingale, and for this reason it 
is called the Norfolk, or mock nightingale. The nest of the 
blackcap is a very simple, rough nest, like that of the 
larger and lesser whitethroat. The male blackcap takes 
his turn at sitting, and will allow himself to be taken off 
the nest. 

‘ All migratory birds appear to be found in the suburbs, 
or within a radius of ten miles of London, earlier than in 
any other part of the country. Londoners, therefore, 
have no excuse for not knowing the notes of birds, having 
every opportunity of listening to their song. 

‘ September . — While the inhabitants of this great city 
are fast asleep, during the dark nights that occur generally 
about this period of September, many wonderful events 



SEA FISHERIES, BIRD MIGRATIONS, ETC. 



349 



are going on high up in the sir, far above our heads. Of 
the nature and cause of these phenomena the general 
public are little aware. The noises proceeding from the 
numerous creatures, that are passing ovei our towns in 
mid-air, during the darkness of the night, would in former 
days have probably been put down to the supernatural 
agency of ghosts and goblins. Observation, however, has 
taught us that the mysterious forms, shadows and cries 
proceed from flocks of migratory birds, passing from one 
part of the earth’s surface to another. More especially 
when the clear and frosty nights come on, may be heard 
in the sky the rush of the wings, and the wild cries of 
various water-birds, such as wild duck, wild geese and 
other water-fowl, as they are passing from the northern to 
the more southern regions. Previous to speaking of the 
general migration of the northern water-fowl, we propose 
to notice the effect of the weather, which has occurred lately 
upon the smaller “ soft meat ” — that is, “ insect-eating ” 
birds. The late gales of wind and cold nights have 
dispersed and destroyed the insect food, such as moths, 
beetles, flies, caterpillars, &c.,. upon which these birds 
fatten previously to their departure to spend the winter in 
more southern climates than our own. The late winds have 
also made havoc on the soft dead-ripe fruit — such as pears, 
plums, elder-berries, nightshade-berries, &c. — upon which 
some of these birds feed. These two causes have induced 
many of our migratory birds to leave us before their usual 
time. The birds that have already left this country are as 
follows : Swift, nightingale, grasshopper warbler, sedge 
warbler, reed warbler, wood wren, garden warbler, wryneck, 
cuckoo. The turtle dove and common shrike have also left. 



350 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



The birds that are now fast taking their departure are as 
follows: Redstart, whinchat, wheatear, blackcap, white- 
throat, chiff-chaff, willow-wren, yellow wagtail, tree pipit, 
meadow pipit, goat-suclcer. During the past summer 
insect life has been very scarce, but, nevertheless, this fact 
has had no perceptible effect upon the numbers or breeding 
of these birds. 

£ At the same time that the above-mentioned birds are 
shifting their habitation, others are beginning to arrive 
from the far north. These are the missel thrush, fieldfare, 
redwing, woodlark, song thrush, blackbird, snow bunting, 
bramble finch, siskin, twite, and redpole, &c. The night- 
shade-berries and blackberries are very plentiful this year, 
and bullfinches are feeding upon them in the lanes and 
hedges. Kingfishers are very abundant this autumn, and 
may now be seen about the brooks, ponds, and lakes in the 
neighbourhood of London. This is the time of year that 
these beautiful birds take their flight from their breeding 
places and fishbone-made nests in the holes of water-side 
banks. A kingfisher was lately seen on the Serpentine, 
and it is not at all improbable that when the parks are 
quiet, and people are not moving about, they may be 
observed about the Kensington Gardens waters, at the 
northern end of the Serpentine. A great many kingfishers 
are at this time of year taken by means of the flue net. 
This is a net of light structure, suspended across brooks ; 
in their rapid flight the birds do not see the nets, and 
get caught in the meshes. When the woodcocks are 
migrating to this country from Norway, considerable 
numbers are caught in this way, by light nets suspended 
in the line of their flight. The reasons that prompt the 



SEA FISHERIES, BIRD MIGRATIONS, ETC. 



351 



migratory British birds to venture over vast tracks of 
land, and over large seas, knowing, as they certainly do, 
the proper times for their passage, when to come and when 
to go, are by no means clear. Nor indeed has it been 
ascertained for a certainty to what countries they resort 
during the winter months; it is well known, however, 
that they go gradually southwards to the French, Spanish, 
and Italian shores of the Mediterranean. In some in- 
stances they cross the Mediterranean Sea to Fgypt and 
the shores of Northern Africa; some go even as far as 
Central Africa. 

£ When these birds are on their perilous journeys of 
so many hundred miles, fogs and adverse winds frequently 
cause great destruction among them. Not very long ago 
large numbers of British migratory birds were found floating 
in the sea, dead, off the Eddystone Lighthouse. It is pro- 
bable that during their night journey from the Devonshire 
shores a fog overtook them, and that the bright light pro- 
ceeding from the lantern of the lighthouse attracted them, 
and so stupefied them that they dashed themselves against 
the thick glass, and were killed in large numbers. The 
fishermen who trawl for turbot, soles, skate, &c., on the 
Varne and Ridge banks between Dover and Calais, not 
unfrequently hear the sound of flocks of migratory birds 
flying overhead. 

‘ The speed at which birds can go, when on their migra- 
tory flight, has been noticed. Quails are said to accom- 
plish a hundred and fifty miles in a night, and undi- 
gested African seeds and plants have been found in the 
crops of these birds when they reach the French coast. 
Ducks are reported to be able to fly fifteen hundred miles 



352 



LIFE OF FRANK EUCKLAND 



at one flight, and the pace of the swallow and martin 
is put down at about nine hundred miles in twenty-four 
hours. Linnets and other seed-eating birds have been 
known to settle on the masts and rigging of ships far 
away from land out at sea. They will take their night’s 
rest on the rigging, and, when leaving the ship, know 
exactly in which direction to continue their flight. It is 
said, that the migration of birds will foretell severe weather, 
and it is well known by the bird-catchers, that when the 
larks and other northern birds appear, snow and hard 
weather will follow the flight. These warnings of migra- 
tory birds, though apparently insignificant, may be of vast 
political and even national importance. If the Emperor 
Napoleon, when on the road to Moscow with his army in 
1811, had condescended to observe the flights of storks 
and cranes passing over his fated battalions, subsequent 
events in the politics of Europe might have been very 
different. These storks and cranes knew of the coming on 
of a great and terrible winter, the birds hastened towards 
the south, Napoleon and his army towards the north. 

‘ October . — Most of the northern birds due in the 
middle of October have arrived. All the summer migrants 
have gone except a few house swallows. The London 
bird-catchers have lately had large takes of the brown 
linnet, common redpole, greenfinches, yellowhammers, 
siskins, goldfinches, and mountain or tree-sparrows. The 
flights of birds arriving from the north are as follows : — 
Hawfinches, goldfinches, chaffinches, siskins, mountain 
sparrows, twites, brambling, bullfinches, brown linnets, 
woodlarks, redwings, blackbirds, thrushes, and stony red- 
poles. The stony redpole has skipped these coasts for the 




SEA FISHERIES, BIRD MIGRATIONS, ETC. 



353 



last two or three years, bat many have been taken during 
the past week. Ring-ousels have been very scarce this 
autumn. The northern larks, fieldfares, and snow bunt- 
ings have not yet been seen, as it is still early in the 
season for them. 

‘ The various kinds of titmice, such as the tom-tit or 
ox-eye, blue-tit, cole-tit, and marsh-tit, are very plentiful 
about the suburbs of London. The nuthatch, little tree- 
creeper, common wren, the golden-crested wren, and long- 
tailed titmouse are also plentiful, and may be seen by 
any ordinary observer about the borders of woodsides and 
copses near London. These last-named birds frequent the 
same localities, and are especially fond of parts of the 
country where firs and yews abound ; they do not seem 
to have increased or varied in numbers for the last thirty 
years, although very seldom trapped in nets, caught with 
birdlime, or killed by gunners, being useless except as 
specimens for the cabinet. 

‘ The hooded or Royston crow has been noticed on the 
marshes below Gravesend. These birds are generally 
observed first at Flamborough Head, in Yorkshire, which 
is the great arrival station of many autumnal migratory 
birds proceeding south from Norway, Sweden, &c. At 
Flamborough Head many of our autumnal visitors have been 
seen : scores of blackbirds, thrushes, crested wrens, and 
owls. These owls were probably bred in the rocks in the 
vicinity of Flamborough. 

‘ Woodcocks are also beginning to arrive at Flam- 
borough. These birds subsist during the summer months 
on the larvae of the mosquitos and other insects that breed 
in the extensive marshes oi Norway and Sweden. The 



A A 



354 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAN’D 



moonlight nights and easterly winds have been especially 
favourable for the arrival of birds from the north. At 
Flamborough the blue rock doves are also very plentiful. 
These birds are found nearly all the world over; they will 
not breed in captivity. At this time they feed on the 
stubbles, and do much good by eating up the charlock seed, 
which is their favourite food. These blue rocks must not 
be confounded with the blue rocks used for pigeon-shooting 
from the trap. Linnets and greenfinches also eat large 
quantities of charlock seed, feeding in flocks on the stubble 
lands. 

£ During the late foggy evenings numbers of the 
common mouse-eared bat have been seen about the streets 
in the north part of London. It is difficult to know on 
what these bats are feeding, as there is very little insect 
food now to be had. 

‘ The common garden or geometric spider is now to be 
seen abundantly in our gardens. They are now fed up 
and are depositing their eggs : their nests are to be 
found under fences and posts ; the eggs are beautifully 
packed away by the mother spider in an elegant silky web 
or covering. ALter depositing the eggs the spiders 
become very weak, and are easily snapped up by the 
sparrows and tits. Again, these spiders’ eggs afford food 
during the winter months for various small birds. 

1 The threads of the gossamer or aeronautic spider may 
be now seen in bright calm weather. It is supposed that 
these spiders ascend into the air by means of long delicate 
silky threads, which they shoot upwards into the air; but 
on this subject further observations are desirable. The 
silk-like webs of the gossamer spider are most noticeable 



SEA FISHERIES, BIRD MIGRATIONS, ETC. 



3 55 



on dewy mornings, as the moisture then adheres to them 
and gives them an appearance of frosted silver. 

‘ December . — During the past fortnight great changes 
have been going on among the wild birds of this country. 
Towards the middle and end of November, the bird-catchers 
always expect what they designate the “ November flight 
of linnets.” This great flight began this year about 
November 15. On the 24th and 25th very large takes of 
linnets were made by the London and suburban catchers. 
The men get their nets laid before daybreak. As soon as 
it is light the birds appear : they come in flocks of from 
two to three hundred ; the call-birds “ charge,” and give 
the catchers notice that the birds are coming, before they 
can be seen by the men. As many as five dozen have 
been taken at one pull of the clap-net this year. Although 
so many linnets are captured annually, there has been no 
general diminution noticed in their numbers. These birds 
are mostly bred on the wild gorse lands, especially in 
Scotland : they are very prolific, and have three to four 
nests each season, producing from fifteen to twenty young. 
When this linnet migration from the north takes place, 
the bird-catchers know that some wild weather is coming 
behind them. This has been justified by the recent 
cold and winterly rain. The linnets, when arriving at the 
south of England, disperse themselves over the stubbles, 
“ clover lays,” and “ fed offs,” eating large quantities of 
charlock and other wild seeds, which otherwise would be 
injurious to the farmer. The large takes of these birds 
have glutted the bird market. Before the flight cock 
linnets were worth from four to five shillings a dozen, 
now they are only fetching eighteenpence to two shillings. 



A A 2 



356 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



A very rare bird lias been taken among the linnets at 
Highgate, namely, a hybrid between a common greenfinch 
and brown linnet. 

‘Goldfinches are now becoming very scarce, on account of’ 
the cultivation of land exterminating the thistles. This year, 
for the first time, the bird-catchers have gone expressly to 
Ireland, and have sent large takes? of goldfinches thence into 
the London market. During the autumn goldfinches were 
abundant ; the reason of this may be attributed to the pro- 
visions of the Bird Preservation Act. At this time of year the 
goldfinches lie up in quiet feeding places, and remain there 
as long as the food lasts ; they will not be seen on flight 
again until April. The siskins, chaffinches, bramble- 
finches, and hawfinches that came in the last Michaelmas 
fiio'ht, and located themselves where food was abundant, 
are now gone, and the bird-catchers cannot find their where- 
abouts. In all probability they will not appear again on 
flight until the middle or end of February. Fieldfares, 
redwings and missel-thrushes have arrived in large quan- 
tities, and are to be found about the environs of London 
so long as they can find food ; they are very wary birds, 
but the moment frost and snow set in they are veiy easily 
approached. The redwing of all the thrushes is the most 
duck-hearted ; he will soon succumb to the cold, even 
when the berry food is abundant; he cannot exist long 
without “ ground food,” that is, worms and insects. Bull- 
finches are still plentiful, there being abundance of food for 
them, such as old blackberries, privet berries, and dock 
seed ; but they do not begin on the privet berries as a rule 
until after the frost has touched them. The aberdevines, 
or siskins, have entirely disappeared, the cause being that 



SEA FISHERIES, BIRD MIGRATIONS, ETC. 357 

there is no alder seed this year ; these birds subsist almost 
entirely on alder seed during their stay here in the winter, 
and never breed in this country except the north of 
Scotland. The Scotch larks are unusually abundant in 
England this season ; they locate themselves on the clover 
and grass lands, where they are taken by thousands on dull 
nights with trammel nets. At this time of year they 
are sold dead indiscriminately, both cocks and hens, just 
as they are caught. By the end of January the catchers 
can find ready purchasers of the live cock birds. The 
price of cock larks then rises monthly up to the end of 
April. In January they fetch four shillings a dozen, in 
April there is a ready market at twelve shillings a dozen. 

1 Wood-pigeons are very numerous this winter, and large 
numbers are now in the London market. Just now they 
are in the very finest condition, and are regular “lumps 
of meat.” They are very good for table when stuffed 
with sage and onions and roasted like ducks. When the 
severe weather sets in, the damage that will be done to 
the farmers by wood-pigeons will be alarming ; they will 
destroy large quantities of swedes and turnips, spoiling 
more tlian they eat. These birds peck out the heart of 
the green part in the centre of the turnip ; in doing this 
they make a deep hole, the water then gets in, and the 
turnips are destroyed by the first frost. This year there 
are no beech-nuts ; the wood-pigeons, therefore, will more 
than ever make inroads among the turnips. Wood-pigeons 
also do much damage to the vetches grown for early lamb- 
feeding.’ 

An interesting article was also written in this year on 
the £ Evidence of Design in Birds’ Eggs.’ 



358 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



I It is my constant endeavour to discover in all (Treated 
things evidence of the design of the Creator. I find 
written in my copy of Paley’s “Evidences” a capital 
quotation formularising this idea : — “ Can a clock go 
without a weight or spring to move it, or a keeper to set 
it?” 

I I think I have now a new fact — at least new to me — 
to prove design in the formation of birds’ eggs. It was 
casually mentioned to me by Mr. Edon, curator of my 
Fish Museum, South Kensington. He has remarked a 
very striking difference in the shape and form of the 
eggs of birds, which build in nests or holes, as contrasted 
with the shape of the eggs of those birds which build on 
flat surfaces. The kingfisher will place her eggs at a 
considerable depth in the earth in rats’ holes, sand-martin’s 
holes, etc. Her eggs are nearly round. The owl builds 
in holes in trees, etc., and her eggs are perfectly round. 
The long-tailed tit builds in a very deep nest ; her eggs 
are also round. The reason of this is that the eggs shall 
pack well in the nest, and all of them get a share of the 
warmth from the mother’s body as well as ventilation. 

‘ Birds that lay their eggs in holes, as noted above, have 
round eggs. There are, however, certain birds which 
incubate their eggs without any nest at all, upon the 
ledges of rocks. In this position it is very possible that 
danger would occur to the egg, by being accidentally moved 
by the parent bird, or may be by the wind. If the egg 
was round, it would very probably roll off the precipice, 
and, falling to the bottom, be smashed. In this case, of 
course, there would be no bird. Let us now see how the 
difficult problem of the preservation of this egg is managed 



SEA FISHERIES, BIRD MIGRATIONS, ETC, 359 

by creative wisdom. The egg of the guillemot, to take a 
good example, is not round, but elongated at one end ; the 
consequence is, that when it is touched the egg will not 
roll awav like a billiard-ball, but it will simply turn round 
upon its own axis. This peculiar structure can be seen, 
and the action of the force upon the egg illustrated, by a 
very simple experiment. Take a common screw, and place 
it near the edge of the table ; touch it gently, so as to set 
it in motion. You will observe that the screw, instead of 
running off the edge of the table, will simply turn round 
on its small end — its own axis. I cannot conceive anything 
more beautiful, than this arrangement of the eggs of birds, 
which build on ledges of rocks, and which are very liable 
to destruction. This fact will, I think, afford excellent 
evidence (if more witnesses were required) to show creative 
skill even in such simple things as birds’ eggs.’ 

Further correspondence followed in ‘Land and Water,’ 
which confirmed the rule generally, with some apparent 
exceptions, as in the case of the dipper which lays pear- 
shaped eggs like most wading birds, although its nest is 
deep-domed, like a gigantic long-tailed tit’s nest. The 
eggs of the guillemot, the razorbill, and the puffin are 
pear-shaped, in proportion to the exposed position of their 
nests. The guillemot lays in the most exposed situation 
of the three, and has by far the most pear-shaped egg ; 
the razorbill, which does not lay in quite such exposed 
situations, has a rounder egg ; whilst the puffin, which 
always lays in holes, often in rabbit-holes, has the roundest 
egg of the three, in shape more like a hen’s egg. The 
oyster-catcher usually makes its nest in a slight hollow 
lined with stones, and lays four eggs, with the narrow 



360 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



ends inwards, thereby perfectly secured against the wind ; 
they do not taper so much as the single egg of the guille- 
mot, neither is it necessary, as the small stones and shells, 
together with the position of the eggs, being four, disposed 
with their small ends inwards, prevent any possibility of 
their rolling. 

A lecture before the Sanitary Institute on the pollution 
of rivers as affecting pisciculture, followed by a soiree at his 
Museum, were among the incidents of 1878; but earnest 
devotion to pisciculture, the serious business of his life, and 
to natural history, its chief enjoyment, was united with a 
passion for every natural curiosity and oddity. 

The various exhibitions at the Westminster Aquarium 
attracted his constant attention, and successive articles 
were written, not only on the Fishery Exhibition there in 
1877, for his contributions to which he received a gold 
medal, and at which he met Lord Beaconsfield, but also on 
the Laplanders, Benedetti the sword-swallower, the white 
whale, Pongo the gorilla, and other outlandish beings. 

Strange folk visited him, on strange errands, and his 
occupations were a strange concatenation. 

The Chinese ambassador called, and was taught how to 
cast fish. 

The Chief Rabbi sought his advice, whether Jews might 
lawfully eat oysters, and Frank Buckland, in turn, con- 
sulted Dean Stanley on the interpretation of Moses’ law 
as to things that creep, and pondered the question, Do 
oysters creep ? The decision was against the oysters. 

One morning he held a large meeting at his Museum, 
to receive Mr. Mundella, and enlighten him on fishery 
questions. In the evening he went to Brighton, and 



SEA FISHERIES, BIRD MIGRATIONS, ETC. 361 

prescribed for the sea lioness. Another morning he gave 
evidence before the Committee on Mr. Mundella’s Bill. In 
the afternoon he welcomed the white whale on his arrival 
in London, and helped to put him into his tank at the 
Westminster Aquarium. 

This variety of visitors culminated in a party given by 
him in Albany Street, in November 1878 ; men of science 
and art and social rank were there in plenty, with dealers 
in wild animals, bird-fanciers, and fishermen. The Chinese 
ambassador’s peacock’s feather nodded above them all. A 
special selection of many different kinds of oyster had been 
prepared, to illustrate their variety, and grace the entertain- 
ment; but, unluckily, the Chinese ambassador met them 
coming upstairs, and before anyone could find words or 
signs to describe their scientific rarity, devoured them all. 

His home life at this time was thus graphically de- 
scribed in an article in the ‘ World,’ on Mr. Frank Buckland 
as one of the ‘ Celebrities at Home.’ 

‘ “ It’s a jolly little brute, and won’t hurt,” exclaimed Mr. 
Buckland, as we were about to retreat from the threshold. 
The monkeys had seized the jaguar’s tail, and lifting it up 
with its hind legs bodily to the altitude of their cage, 
were rapidly denuding it of fur. No animal with any 
feelings of self-respect would submit silently to such humi- 
liation, and the jaguar was making the place hideous with 
his yells. 

‘ Hearing the cries of her pet, Mrs. Buckland came to 
the rescue, and it was amusing to see this child of the 
forest, with gleaming eyes and frantic yelps, cast itself at 
her feet, and nestle meekly in the folds of her dress ; she 
had nursed it through a very trying babyhood, when Mr. 



3G2 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



Bartlett had sent it from tlie Zoo, apparently dying and 
paralysed in the fore-legs, with a promise of 15 1 . reward for 
a cure. That sum has long since been swallowed up, in 
damages for clothes destroyed and boots devoured, as the 
invalid’s health and appetite returned. 

‘ Hard by a laughing jackass was sportively chasing 
live mice up and down a glass jar, as an appetiser before 
eating them ; and below, solemnly weighing the doctrine 
of chances, a battalion of cats waited patiently what 
might befall. At a front window, an intelligent parrot 
kept calling cabs from the moment we entered, and 
was equally ready to hail an omnibus if we preferred 
it. A peaceably disposed piebald rat was enjoying gym- 
nastic exercises on a pole, until seized by his master and 
told to “ Sing up, old boy.” Held suddenly to our ear, 
melodious notes were heard issuing from the diaphragm, 
which Mr. Buckland considers as good as the carol of a 
lark, whether it arises from a parasite in the liver or not. 
All around, the walls were covered with the heads of 
curious hybrids, and horns of extinct animals, and, indeed, 
there was everything in this wonderful museum to fascinate 
the mind, from a shoe left as a keepsake by Brice the 
giant, to a lady’s slipper floating about in a wine-glass of 
water. The latter was a beautiful little object like a 
fairy glass slipper, about an inch long, without heels and 
exquisitely fringed off. It belongs to the jelly-fish tribe, 
and was alive and well when we saw it. 

‘ The £< happy family ” life, of which Mr. Buckland is 
the centre, is carried on in an ordinary London house, 
formerly the home of Charles Dickens’ father-in-law, Mr. 
Hogarth, in Albany Street, Regent’s Park. In their time, 



SEA FISHERIES, BIRD MIGRATIONS, ETC. 363 

the room, into which we were ushered, was probably the 
drawing-room. At first, during the present tenancy, it 
used to be called “ Master’s room ” ; now it is termed the 
« monkey room,” which Mr. Buckland remarks, “ is Darwin 
going backwards.” The dining-room is indeed the one 
room preserved, but with difficulty, for the sole use of 
man. It is held, so to speak, at the sword’s point, against 
the incursions of animals from the neighbouring jungle. 
Sometimes the rule is -relaxed in cases of sickness, or on the 
arrival of a welcome little stranger, like the jaguar. It is 
to this room that all good animals expect to go, in a stuffed 
form, when they die. It is regarded as a “ Poets’ Corner ” 
for the great, while the bodies of the less distinguished are 
consigned to honourable burial in the back garden. Mr. 
Buckland was informed, lately, that there was not room 
to bury so much as a bird there now. Some excellent 
pictures adorn the walls of this room ; one of Master 
Frank, by Phillips, “aged 3 ; born at Christ Church, Oxford, 
December 17, 1826.” He is characteristically portrayed 
hugging a guinea-pig in his pinafore. A bust of Mr. 
Buckland’s father, the late Dean of Westminster, stands 
on a table, which he and his wife purchased in Italy on 
their wedding tour, and is composed of various marbles. 
A handsome dish representing a salmon stands on the 
same table, and was a gift from His Boyal Highness Prince 
Christian. 

‘ Below all this we come upon the practical workings 
of the scientific mine. Next to the kitchen and acces- 
sible to the area is the casting-room, to which every- 
thing extraordinary, whether from the depths of the sea or 
the bowels of the earth, sooner or later gravitates. It is 



364 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



here that a prodigious amount of work is done, and goes 
forth, in the most finished state, to adorn the South Ken- 
sington and other great museums, for the advancement of 
science and education of the people. Round the walls are 
ranged bottles, casks and jars, containing specimens in 
every stage of what the naturalist might call preservation 
and the ignorant decay. Enjoying the rare art of impart- 
ing his knowledge to others, Mr. Buckland delights in 
showing his treasures. Regardless of fearful odours, he 
will plunge up to his elbows into a deep dark tank, and 
draw forth a slimy dripping reptile, and ask cheerfully, “ if 
he is not a beauty.” It requires a strong stomach and no 
small diplomacy to know how to act, for he is ready, on a 
word of encouragement, to make another fatal plunge and 
bring up the other seven. 

£ But another joy awaits you — if you can bear it — in 
a jar, when he carefully hauls out a ribbon fish, and tells 
you it is the next of kin to the great sea-serpent. At that 
moment, you heartily wish the great sea-serpent would bury 
its own relations, but Frank does not, and anyone, who 
would bring him the head of the family, would be his 
friend for life. On the whole, Mr. Buckland prefers live 
snakes about him, but he has not' yet succeeded in getting 
his household to agree with him. A live snake is con- 
siderably worse than a pickled snake ; seeing that the 
latter, they find, is not so likely to be found under their 
pillows. 

1 Perhaps the worst moments for the family are those 
when the Parcels Delivery van drives up to the door. On 
these occasions, there is a general closing of windows 
observable in the neighbourhood, and the only light-hearted 



SEA FISHERIES, BIRD MIGRATIONS, ETC. 365 

creature within the zoological circle of Frank Buckland’s 
home just then is the persevering parrot, who takes the 
credit of the van’s arrival to himself. The Naturalist steals 
out to survey the state of things, and if likely to be very 
odorous, the man feels uneasy, while the husband, deep and 
treacherous, drops a propitiatory sovereign into his wife’s 
hand, and recommends her to try a little shopping in some 
distant region. Once it was a gorilla in a cask, and, when 
his unfortunate wife returned to her home, she found Frank 
in high spirits and the gorilla in even higher. 

‘ Mr. Buckland’s chief domestic grievance is the duster, 
which he regards as a mischievous invention of women. 
Household operations have consequently to be conducted 
by stealth, and usually in his absence on official rounds as 
Government Inspector of Fisheries. Not long ago he 
returned home to find the giant’s autograph washed off the 
dining-room ceiling, and was in despair, but discovering the 
row of postage stamps, a foot or two above the door, mark- 
ing the giant’s height, he was, in a measure, consoled, and 
fell back for comfort on the shoe still safe in the Museum. 

1 Mr. Buckland makes the scullery his chief atelier, and 
shares the kitchen, when she will let him, with the cook. 
This invasion of her premises she might not indeed take in 
good part, but it mollifies her to see her master in his shirt- 
sleeves doing the very dirtiest work, and she has long since 
come to the conclusion that his place is far worse than hers : 
— she deals, after all, with what is fit for human food, but 
her master’s whole time is devoted to skinning, dissecting, 
pickling and poring over the bones of “ beastesses,” the like 
of which no one could look at, let alone dress ; yet her 
master is so kindly and pleasant a gentleman, that she can- 



3G6 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



not refuse sometimes when he asks for her help— not with 
that Solan-goose, however, which master said, contained 
all the elements of a balloon ; it nearly gave her a fit when 
he made it cry out as if it was alive, and only by squeezing 
what he called the “ voice-box ” at the bottom of the wind- 
pipe. 

‘ Let us stand by the kitchen-table for a few minutes, 
while the master bustles to and fro over his work. He is 
just now busily washing a splendid sturgeon, a “ royal fish,” 
which, properly dealt with, he declares, a cunning cook could 
serve up as fish, flesh, fowl, or good red-herring. Quaint 
and original must be many of the dishes which issue from 
Mr. Buckland’s kitchen. The long-suffering cook, were 
she free to speak, might tell some strange tales of mistakes 
inevitable, of young crocodiles boiled down for stock, of 
food misapplied, and of diets given to the wrong animals. 
Mr. Buckland’s housekeeping books cover a wide range. 

‘ Not less peculiar than the fare provided by his kitchen, 
is the company to be met with at his parties. It is his 
especial delight to entertain celebrities on view in the 
Town. This 'penchant makes him the idol of all the chil- 
dren and stray waifs in the neighbourhood, who crowd 
round the door when a party is expected, or clamber up the 
railings to get a good view of the giant going in, or the 
dwarf coming away. The due etiquette to be observed at 
these feasts is at times perplexing. When Chinamen, 
Aztecs, Esquimaux, or Zulus are the guests, the chief diffi- 
culty is with the bill of fare ; but the ceremonial becomes 
complicated if Mrs. Buckland has to choose which arm to 
take of the four owned by the Siamese Twins ; nor are 
matters put right by Mr. Buckland leading the way with 



SEA FISHERIES, BIRD MIGRATIONS, ETC. 



367 



the Two-headed Nightingale ; while much discussion was 
needed to decide whether Mr. Buckland should hand in 
Julia Pastrana (the hairy woman), or that personage, by 
virtue of her beard, should take in the lady of the house. 
Now and again other contretemps occur at these feasts. No- 
thing could have been more appalling than what happened 
when Mr. Buckland was honoured at dinner by Tomati 
Hapiromani Wharinaki, and a number of New Zealand 
chiefs. The party had adjourned to the monkey-room to 
smoke the pipe of peace, when, for their amusement, the host 
turned some six and thirty slow-worms out of a box. In- 
stantaneously the guests were transformed; the garb of civi- 
lisation slipped off, and they returned to the wild untutored 
savage. With one frantic glance at the slow-worms on the 
floor, they uttered wild yells and straightway fled. Down- 
stairs the dining-room window was open, through this 
helter-skelter into the garden, like hounds breaking cover, 
and filling the air with a tapage d’enfer. Thence they 
spread over the neighbouring gardens, taking the low fences 
like deer. Two of them seeing another open window, and 
at it a peaceable old lady at work, headed for it, dashed in, 
and with their tattooed faces and awful cries nearly were 
her death. By this time the whole parish was up, a hue 
and cry organised, recruits joined from the railings, and 
the fugitives were run safely to ground. It appeared that 
they entertained a superstitious horror of the slow- worm ; 
to them it was the “Ngarara” — the incarnation of the 
power of evil.’ 



368 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



CHAPTER XV. 

CONCLUSION : 1879-1880. 

c Salmon-egg collecting,’ Frank Buckland wrote in 1878, 1 
1 is one of the most difficult, and I may say dangerous, 
tasks that fall to my lot. Those only who have gone 
through the difficulties of collecting these treasures can 
know the anxiety connected with the task; neverthe- 
less, in the second week of January 1878, I went^at it 
once more. The Government authorities of New Zealand 
having expressed by telegram to Sir Julius Vogel, Agent- 
General in London, their desire to have a further consign- 
ment of salmon ova sent them this spawning season, I told 
Sir Julius I would do my best for them, though it was 
late, very late, this year to hope for much success. 

1 In the collection of salmon eggs, as in every other 
matter, the great rule is to take for granted that you will 
find nothing anywhere. I therefore go fully prepared for 
all eventualities. Here, then, is a list of my “ spawning kit.” 
First, the waterproof dress ; this very useful garment is in 
fact a diver’s dress, and, when properly put on, admits not 
a drop of water. It has, however, one fault, it is apt to 
freeze when I am out of the water, and then one feels 
encased, as it were, in a suit of inflexible armour. Second, 

1 Notes and Jottings from Animal Life, p 66. 



CONCLUSION 



369 



the spawning tins : long experience has shown me that the 
best form of vessel in which to spawn fish is no paltry 
little tin, but a bath large enough to bathe a good-sized 
baby in. Third, a long shallow basket, to hold the salmon 
immediately they are caught, such as ladies use to carry 
their clothes when travelling ; such a basket makes a capital 
salmon cage. It is easily sunk to the proper depth with 
stones, and the salmon live well and do not fret in it. The 
fish can remain alive in the water in this till they are wanted. 
Fourth, house flannel, cut into lengths of one yard ; this is 
absolutely necessary to hold the struggling salmon. Those 
who are unaccustomed to spawn salmon, have an awkward 
habit of putting their fingers into the gills of the fish, and 
if the fish’s gills are injured and bleed, he suffers much 
from it. I never to my knowledge killed a fish in my life 
while spawning it. Fifth, dry towels ; these are most 
necessary, as the slime from the salmon makes one’s hands 
very slippery, and it is a very bad thing to have slippery 
hands, for you may lose a valuable fish in a moment ; 
besides which wiping the hands warms them, and, when 
working in the water at this time of year, the cold to the 
hands and arms is fearful, or, to use the expression of the 
cabmen, “ all my fingers is thumbs.” Sixth, bottles for 
experiments with milt and ova. Seventh, “ Sphagnum ” 
moss, to pack the eggs in the tins and cans. Eighth, 
wooden boxes, tied up in threes and fours, to pack eggs at 
the river side. Ninth, a large landing net. This is very 
useful for catching fugitive fish, which may happen to escape 
round the side of the net. Tenth, nets ; one long heavy 
trammel, and two smaller trammels are best. Eleventh, 
ordinary baggage, and especially a bottle of scented hair-oil, 



370 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



with which to well anoint the chest and arras and tips of 
the ears, when working in the water ; a most excellent and 
serviceable plan. I took this hint from the Esquimaux. 

‘Thus equipped, I started for Newcastle, writing all 
the way in the train, of course. Arrived at Newcastle, I 
took the train to Chollerford. The next morning a drive 
of eleven miles to Bellingham, and thence by train to 
Reedsmouth on the North Tyne. The main river of the 
North Tyne was too heavy for us, no net could possibly 
stand ; so Harbottle, the head of the Tyne salmon watchers, 
had judiciously made his first shot in the river Reed, just 
above her junction with the North Tyne. He had marked 
down several pairs of spawners on this bed, and hoped to 
get the lot for me. We came up just in time to see our 
assistants with very long faces. It appears that they had, 
though the water was then running rapidly, got the net 
across, and some fish in her ; just as they were bringing 
her round she caught on a rock, and immediately rolled 
cc leads over corks.” Just at that moment there came a , heavy 
spate from above ; the men on the bank could not hold the 
net, and she straightened herself out beautifully, letting 
every fish in the net, of course, escape. We managed, 
however, to secure three half-spawned fish, from which we 
got a few eggs. 

1 We then packed up the wet nets and the kit on a cart, 
and marched off to a shallow in the North Tyne, about 
a mile above ; where we thought we might have luck. 
During our walk thither, a regular winter’s storm came on ; 
the telegraph wires sang out their music as if laughing at 
us, and far away in the north was a jet-black angry-looking 
cloud, showing that a heavy storm was gathering upon the 



CONCLUSION 



371 



moors and great lulls, that separate England from Scotland. 
We had no time to lose, as we knew the rain from this 
cloud would soon send North Tyne down in a heavy spate. 
Turning off the highway, we passed down a hill to the river 
bank, and then the cart with the nets went across the river, 
while I waded over — not a very pleasant work in a rapid, 
rising river, with great rolling slippery boulders under one’s 
feet. However, we got to the island, and determined to 
fish the stream on the other side of it. There was great 
difficulty in getting the net across, the stream was so 
strong and rapid. At last Harbottle and six men got her 
over, and then beginning some fifty yards above, the 
trammel was run down stream to her. Great was the 
excitement, when we quickly perceived, from the bobbing 
of the corks, that the fish in the spawning-bed were 
masked in the trammel. She’s a beautiful net is my 
trammel, though some find fault with her. She’s like 
birdlime to a fish ; let her once touch a fish’s fin and she 
has the rest of him pretty quickly. Down came the 
trammel right into the net below in true orthodox style. 
‘‘Look alive, lads, round with them both on to the bank !” 
Three fish ! Instantly I was on to them as they kicked 
about in the water. First male, second female, third male. 
The males, fine big fish, with red coats on them as though 
they were going to a Horse Guards’ parade, and beaks on 
the lower jaw enough to frighten one. The female, alas ! 
had not an egg in her ; had done spawning long ago. As 
I told Sir Julius Vogel, it was very late for eggs this year, 
and I was right. 

‘ While I was examining these fish, the river spared us 
not ; and I quickly observed that a bank of pebbles on 



n b 2 



372 



LIFE OF FLANK BUCKLAND 



which I had just been packing eggs was covered with 
water. We were all, therefore, only too anxious to be off, 
as a long stay on a desolate island, for a winter’s night, in 
the middle of the North Tyne, was not a pleasant prospect. 
Several of the party got into the cart ; the more the safer, 
as the cart would be heavier in the water and less likely 
to tip over. As I was waterproofed up to my neck, I 
walked behind in the water, holding the cart-tail with one 
hand, and the precious egg-can with the other. The man 
whipped up the horse, and he managed to drag his heavy 
load across the river, the old cart (already over the axles 
in water) rolling about like a ship at sea, as the wheels 
tipped up over the boulders below. At last we got 
ashore all right. The cart then went back for the nets 
and the other men, some of whom waded, others rode 
across. 

‘ As we sat on the bank we saw the North Tyne gra- 
dually rising. Lap, lap, came the little side waves to our 
feet. The island on which we had been standing became 
smaller and smaller, and at last down came North Tyne 
with a mighty rush; the stones which a few minutes 
before had caused the ripples and the “ hovers,” so dear to 
salmon fishers, quickly ducked their heads under water; 
and where there had been a loud-resounding rapid before, 
there was now a swift, black, deep stream, running like 
oil. This sudden spate was caused, of course, by our 
friend the black storm on the hills. In this part of 
Northumberland spates come on very quickly, owing to 
the mountains being so steep, and the moors drained so 
much more than they were in former years. 

‘ With the spate in the river, came the storm upon us, 



CONCLUSION 



373 



a regular spiteful gentleman fresh from the caves of Eolus, 
iced rain, sleet, and snow. I was cold, very cold, but I 
would not let it be seen. I felt my wet suit of waterproof 
gradually freezing and becoming like a suit of armour, 
especially about the arms and throat ; so we packed up 
and walked away as fast as we could, and got a sort of 
shelter under a railway arch, where I managed, with the 
help of a water bailiff, to get off the frozen dress; and then 
for a walk — I hate walking — into Bellingham. As we went 
along, a blacker cloud came over, and it began to snow, 
not in nice heavy flakes, but little sharp cutting spikes 
the size of peppercorns. The howling wind drove them 
along like a volley from an infantry regiment. 

‘ At last we arrived at Bellingham, and on our way 
home in the dog cart, a heavy winter snow-storm was on, 
and kept on all night. The next morning everything, 
from the distant hills down to the window sills, had put 
on a white nightcap. We could see, with a telescope, the 
river tumbling over Chollerford weir in the distance. We 
at once concluded, that it would not be of the least use to 
try for eggs, certainly not to-day, maybe many days, as all 
that snow had to melt, and come down off the hills into 
the river in the form of water. “ Besides, Buckland,” said 
my host, “ you’re a fortnight or three weeks too late to get 
the run of spawning salmon off the ridds.” “ Yes,” I said ; 
“I know that, but when Sir Julius and the New Zea- 
landers say ‘ Go and try,’ of course I must go and try.” 

‘ So I packed up, waited half a day at a country 
railway station, and got that night to Carlisle to try what 
my old friends the salmon in the river Caldew had to 
say.’ 



374 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



The quest for eggs was continued in the Cal dew : the 
season there proved also too late. ‘ But,’ said Frank 
Buckland, ‘ the word can’t is not in my dictionary ; ’ so 
from the later rivers of Devonshire eggs were obtained, 
which were finally packed in the ice-house on board the 
‘ Chimborazo’ at the West India Docks. 

‘ Everyone carrying a box or two of eggs, we arrived 
at the ice-house on board ship. Captain Smith opened it, 
and when I looked in I perceived that a portion of the 
bottom was covered with boxes of eggs and ice. These 
were Mr. Youl’s boxes, that he had packed some three or 
four days previously. Searle and myself bundled through 
the manhole of the ice-house, Captain Smith handed us 
the boxes of eggs, and Searle and I shifted, with the ice- 
axes and ice-forks, the great slippery blocks of ice on to the 
top of our own boxes, filling up the interstices with broken 
bits. When we first got into the ice-house it was jolly 
cold, but we were so busy shifting the blocks of ice, that 
we soon had no time to be cold. We trust these English 
salmon eggs may be the parents of many salmon, which in 
future years may become established at the Antipodes, to 
the great increase of the wealth and prosperity of our 
o-ood friends in New Zealand.’ 

O 

It was not alone the sudden rush of water, the wintry 
‘spate’ of the North Tyne, which added danger to his 
task. The long working in icy water, the clothes stiffened 
with frost and chilled with driving sleet, undermined even 
his strong constitution, and laid the seeds of disease which 
soon afterwards developed. 

This was Frank Buckland’s last journey to collect 
salmon eggs. In January 1879 he again went to the 



CONCLUSION 



375 



docks, and packed in the ice-house of the S.S. ‘ Durham ’ 
eo-o-s he had received for Australia. A few days later he 
was attacked with inflammation of the lungs, followed by 
haemorrhage, which confined him for ten days to his room. 
It was two months before he could return to his official 
duties. He continued, however, to work at his salmon 
report, and other articles. 

This year’s report contained a short history of the con- 
dition and prospects of all the salmon rivers under cul- 
tivation in England and Wales, and was the result of 
‘ three and a half months’ hard work.’ 

1 As regards our salmon fisheries,’ he wrote, ‘ it will be 
satisfactory to know that the physical condition and salmon- 
bearing capabilities of each river have been now thoroughly 
examined and recorded. In fact we know all the physical 
circumstances advantageous to the salmon, and we can also 
put our finger upon the localities, where circumstances, 
whether natural or artificial, militate against the welfare 
of these valuable fish. The one great drawback to the full 
development of the fisheries of this country is undoubtedly 
dirty water, in other words, “ pollutions.” Clean and pure 
water is a matter of national importance, as regards the 
health and industries of the nation, as well as in reference 
to the development of the fisheries. It therefore behoves 
every individual of this great nation, whether in his public 
or private capacity, to apply his influence to the solution 
of what is really the great question of the day, viz., “ the 
pollution of rivers.” ’ 

On April 23 he took the chair at the Society of Arts, 
at a lecture given by Mr. Willis Bund, but was obliged to 
leave the chair from a fresh attack of illness. 



376 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



In June, July, and August lie nevertheless went to the 
West, North, and East of England, and completed the 
inquiry into deep-sea fisheries, and worked hard at this 
report, which was finished in November with its full 
account of British food fishes. 

At Great Grimsby he met a committee, lately formed 
there, to enlist the aid of fishermen in observing and re- 
cording facts relating to sea fisheries. In order to teach 
fishermen how to observe and utilise their experience, a 
table of heads of inquiry was prepared, under his guidance, 
and distributed ; and prizes were offered, to which many of 
his friends contributed, for those who should bring home 
the best and fullest information. Some of the last days 
of his life were spent, as he lay in bed, in reading and 
classifying the answers received, and sending off the prizes 
for the fishermen. 

In 1877 and 1878 a formidable disease had appeared 
among the salmon destroying many thousands of fish. 
The subject was discussed in Frank Buckland’s report 
presented in the spring of 1879, and in August he was 
directed, with Mr. Walpole and Mr. Archibald Young, to 
inquire into the causes and remedies of the disease. Public 
inquiries were held at fifteen places in England and Scot- 
land where the disease was rife, and numerous diseased 
fish were examined and dissected, casts of the preparations 
placed in the Museum, and in August the report was 
presented. The nature of the disease, which existed also 
in Canada and other countries, was shown to be a fungoid 
growth attacking the fish while in fresh water; its true 
cause, though many were assigned, appeared as mysterious 
as that of other epidemics among men or animals. 



CONCLUSION 



377 



In June 1879, Herr von Bunsen, a son of Dean 
Buckland’s old friend, Baron von Bunsen, visited England, 
to obtain co-operation in the Fishery Exhibition to be held 
at Berlin in 1880. To Frank Buckland’s great regret, no 
aid appeared to be forthcoming from the British Govern- 
ment, but he determined that this country should not be 
unrepresented. He took Herr von Bunsen round his 
Museum, discussed with him the exhibits to be sent, and, 
notwithstanding infirm health, immediately began to pre- 
pare new casts for the purpose. 

His interest in the current curiosities of the day • 
continued unabated. 

The friendly Zulus who visited London in July 1879 
were interviewed and thus described : — £ There are six 
young men, all in the very prime of life, sound in wind and 
limb, and as active as cats. Digandau (chief), Possmon, 
Magubi, Nusan, Kikou, and Oskei. They vary somewhat 
in colour; all of them are black, but not the jet-black of 
the West Coast African nigger. The smallest of the six, 
a lad about sixteen, is lighter in colour. The hair is wool 
in little tufts. They resemble in figure statues of black 
marble, or bronze figures one sees in the Paris shops. 
The physiognomy of these Zulus is by no means disagree- 
able ; I could find many much worse faces in the slums of 
London. Being a disciple of Lavater, I read in their 
faces goodnature and a kindly disposition, mixed with a 
peculiar expression not present in European faces. If im- 
properly handled or offended, the features indicate instant 
revenge and merciless retaliation. These two characteristics 
came out well in their performances. Their dances were 
emblematical of fighting, and victory to the death over 



378 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



their enemies ; whereas the representations of the marriage 
feast, and their dinner-time outside their kraal, showed 
that they were socially goodnatured, merry, happy people. 
When they came down amongst the audience, I was sur- 
prised to see the natural polite manner in which these 
Zulus bowed and acknowledged the flowers, which were 
presented to them by the ladies. One of the most marked 
characteristics of the Zulus was their amazing quickness 
of hearing and sight. Though silent, they seemed to see 
and hear everything that was going on, and to be ready for 
any emergency in a moment. They were most at home 
when throwing the assegai. These really are fearful 
weapons ; they are from four to five feet long, made of 
hard wood, and carry a blade or narrow spear of soft 
pliable iron about five inches long, cutting with both 
edges. When using the assegai they cause it to quiver in 
the hand in a peculiar manner before they throw it. This 
gives it an impetus ; it flies through the air as quick and 
as silent as an arrow from a bow, and it strikes the object 
with a peculiar sullen thud. Two ordinary targets were 
placed one behind the other against a platform of boards. 
After a volley of two assegais thrown by each Zulu I 
found there were six golds, and the rest of the spears were 
very near golds. If the object aimed at had been an ordi- 
nary man, every assegai would have penetrated his chest. 
So deep had the weapons gone through the two targets, and 
into the wood behind, that the attendants had some difficulty 
in getting them out. I examined the wounds in the 
targets. If these wounds had been made in the human 
frame, being deep punctured wounds, they, if not at once 
fatal, would have been most difficult to treat. The dis- 



CONCLUSION 



379 



tances through which the assegais had pierced the targets 
averaged six and a half inches, independently of the point 
being deeply fixed into the boards at the back. The Zulus 
have been taken round the Zoological Gardens. They were 
dreadfully afraid of the elephants j they knew quite well 
what elephants are, but had never seen a tame one, and 
regarded it as a natural enemy. The Cape hymn a was an 
old friend, and, when he laughed, the Zulus laughed with 
joy at meeting a countryman of their own. The ant-bear 
was turned out of his straw for them ; him they greeted, 
but they were much puzzled with the South American 
anteater. In Africa, as we well know, there are no 
deer proper, but only antelopes ; the Zulus were de- 
lighted with the elands, but amazed at the wapiti stag : 
they could hardly be persuaded that the wapiti’s horns 
were not leafless boughs of trees. An amusing incident 
took place at the Gardens. A good-looking young lady 
at the refreshment department brought the chief some 
iced water. The chief, Dingandau, immediately wanted to 
buy her, and with seriousness asked how many cows her 
father would take for her ! ’ 

In November 1879, Frank Buckland held an inquiry 
among the fishermen at Cromer. On his way thence to 
Lowestoft he was caught in a violent snowstorm, which 
induced another attack of illness. This was the last in- 
quiry he held. 

‘ If a close observer,’ writes his colleague, Mr. Spencer 
Walpole, 1 ‘ were asked to mention the chief quality which 
Mr. Buckland developed as Inspector of Fisheries, he would 
probably reply a capacity for managing men. He had the 
1 Macmillan's Magazine , February 1881. 



380 



LIFE OF FEANK BUCKLAND 



happiest way of conciliating opposition, and of carrying an 
even hostile audience with him. It frequently occurred 
that the fishermen at the many inquiries, which his 
colleague and he held, looked in the first instance with 
suspicion at the Inspectors. They never looked with sus- 
picion on them when they went away. The ice of reserve 
was thawed by the warmth of Mr. Buckland’s genial 
manner, and the men who for the first half hour shrank 
from imparting information, in the next three hours vied 
with one another in contributing it. 

‘ Energy,’ the same writer continues, £ was only one 
of Mr. Buckland’s characteristics. His kindliness was 
another. Perhaps no man ever lived with a kinder heart. 
It may be doubted whether he ever willingly said a hard 
word, or did a hard action. He used to say of one gentle- 
man, by whom he thought he had been aggrieved, that he 
had forgiven him seventy times seven already, so that he 
was not required to forgive him any more. He could not 
resist a cry of distress, particularly if it came from a 
woman. Women, he used to say, are such doe-like timid 
things, that he could not bear to see them unhappy. One 
night, walking from his office, he found a poor servant-girl 
crying in the street. She had been turned out of her 
place that morning, as unequal to her duties ; she had no 
money and no friends nearer than Taunton, where her 
parents lived. Mr. Buckland took her to an eating-house, 
p-ave her a dinner, drove her to Paddington, paid for her 

O' . 

ticket, and left her in charge of the guard of the train. 
His nature was so simple and generous that he did not 
even seem to realise that he had done an exceptionally 
kind action.’ 



CONCLUSION 



381 



Many instances might be added of similar acts of 
kindness. 

‘ Christmas week, for many years past,’ Frank Buckland 
wrote in December 1879, ‘ has been to me a period of great 
importance ; for this is the week in which the salmon are 
at the very height of spawning, throughout the rivers of 
England and Scotland. This also is the week in which I 
generally receive the consignments of great lake trout and 
eggs of Salmonidce from the Continent. 

‘ This Christmas week, I regret to say, I shall not have 
the opportunity of spending my time up to my neck in 
water, collecting salmon eggs for Australia or New Zealand, 
from one or other of our northern rivers ; or in one of the 
southern rivers, getting trout eggs for the Thames. I must 
say I very much enjoy collecting salmon and trout eggs ; 
it is very cold, and, at the same time, very hard work, but I 
very much prefer it to indoors and the fireside. 

‘ If I can’t get a job on the water, I must make one 
for myself on land ; so I, with my friend Bartlett’s permis- 
sion, now give the result of a very pleasant conversation 
I have had with him, relative to Christmas time at the 
Zoological Gardens. 

‘It is a great satisfaction to us both to see how very 
popular natural history has become during the last few years. 
I am especially pleased to observe, that the similitudes or 
quasi-similitudes of birds, beasts and fishes are being in- 
troduced, whether for use or ornament, into domestic life. 
Moreover, if we look into the shop-windows, do we not 
observe how very dependent we are on the animal creation 
for food and raiment (witness the poultry shops and also 
the ladies’ furs, sealskins, feathers, etc.). But yet how 



382 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



fearfully ignorant most of us are of the habits of the 
beasts and birds which provide all these good things for 
us ! 

‘ Under these circumstances, let us direct our thoughts 
on what is going on, this mid-winter time, in the Zoological 
Gardens. 

‘ No one goes to the Zoological Gardens at this time of 
year ; nevertheless, severe winter weather (especially the 
snow and ice time) is of all others that which causes most 
anxiety. 

‘ When we recollect what a number of animals in the 
Gardens are natives of tropical climates, such as Africa, 
South America, India, and of parts of the world situated 
under almost every kind of climate, it becomes obvious 
that the utmost care, study and constant watching, both 
day and night, is required to find proper house-room, warm 
sheltered quarters, and food for this hungry family, clothed 
in fur or feather, of nearly two thousand mouths, all told, 

‘ In spite of all the difficulties of commissariat, board 
and lodging, the animals at the Zoological seem, and 
really are, very comfortable, and I trust happy. It is more 
than probable that, as they are protected from heat and 
cold, from their natural enemies, and have their food 
regularly, they live longer in the Gardens than they would 
in their native homes, be it plain, mountain, forest, or 
jungle : for instance, the senior bird of the parrot-house is 
a Vasa parrot, presented July 25, 1830. This remarkable 
bird has never had a day’s illness, has been merry, well 
fed, and is probably the oldest bird of the species in 
existence. 

< Many of the animals at the Gardens are hardy 



CONCLUSION 



383 



enough to be allowed to roam more or less in the open. 
These, nevertheless, require great attention in time of 
frost ; because the water which is given to them to drink 
becomes hard and frozen, so that the poor brutes, many of 
which know not ice, cannot understand that it is water at 
all ; and that the meat given them for food, unless eaten 
immediately, becomes hard like wood, and consequently 
difficult, if not impossible, to swallow. 

‘ Notwithstanding the many difficulties, not only can 
a good bill of health be shown, but the collection has of 
late been enriched by several rare and valuable additions. 

‘ Of these, one of the most remarkable is a young 
penguin from Cape Horn, of the species known as the 
king penguin ( Aptenodytes longirostris). This bird arrived 
in the remarkable state of a baby penguin — that is, with 
a plumage of down. This down is of a dark brown colour, 
and is upwards of two inches long. The bird had all the 
appearance of a penguin in a dress of bear-skin, the long 
flappers, or wings, being enveloped, as it were, in sleeves 
of the same fur. In less than ten days the bird began to 
moult its down, and at the present time the new plumage 
consists of a perfectly white breast and grey back, while 
the head and neck still retain the downy state. The bird 
is exceedingly fat, weighing upwards of 50 lb. He lives 
principally on sprats and herrings, of which he consumes 
large quantities daily. 

‘ Another acquisition to the Gardens was made a few 
days since by the purchase of a magnificent pair of prong- 
horned antelopes ( Antilocapra Americana ), probably the 
first pair ever exhibited in Europe, at any rate the first 
pair ever brought to England. So little was the animal 



384 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



known or understood, that, until the year 1865, when Mr. 
Bartlett read a paper upon the affinities of this animal, 
before a meeting of the Zoological Society of London, in 
which he described and called attention to the remarkable 
fact that the prong-buck shed its horns annually, no 
naturalist in Europe or America had believed or suspected 
such was the case. 

1 During the last week arrived two fine young female 
Bed River hogs ( Potamocliccrus pencillatus ). This is a 

most important addition to the Society’s collection, as the 
only living specimen in Europe of this beautiful species is 
a fine adult male in the Gardens. The history of this 
animal I will give in Mr. Bartlett’s own words : — 

“ 1 During the winter of 1875 I received from Mr. Cross, 
of Liverpool, a small box about six inches square ; upon 
opening the box a wee striped little pig, little bigger than 
a rat, put up his little snout and made a small squeak. 
With the winter advancing, and knowing from his form of 
ears that his native home was in West Africa, I took him 
out, and gave him a good feed of warm milk, boiled rice 
and sugar, wrapped him up in flannel, and sent him back to 
Liverpool, with a note to say I could not purchase him, as 
none of the keepers would be troubled with such a baby, 
and I felt sure the poor little fellow would die if placed 
in the collection. A day or two afterwards I was sur- 
prised to receive the same small box, and more so to find 
the unfortunate little pig inside, and a note from Cross to 
say the animal was of no use to him — he could not be 
bothered with it — and as I declined to purchase it for the 
Society, he begged me to accept it, and do what I pleased 
with it. I felt hurt to find this poor little fellow thus an 



CONCLUSION 



385 



outcast and apparently friendless. I took him in my 
bands, and conveyed him at once into my kitchen. Calling 
the maid, I asked her if she would take charge of this 
little outcast, telling her, at the same time, if she treated 
him kindly, and kept him alive for one month I would 
give her a sovereign. The girl, pleased at the offer, took 
poor Dick, for that was at once his adopted name, and 
placed him in a basket with a warm blanket near the fire. 
All went well with Dick from this moment. Warm food 
and dainty morsels were Dick’s frequent allowance. He 
was soon allowed to walk about the house, and, unlike 
most other swine, was the cleanest of animals. Few dogs 
or cats could equal him in cleanliness in the house, and 
thus Dick became a universal favourite, and after a while 
made his appearance regularly in the dining-room at 
dinner-time, and had a plate to himself before the fire. 
He was the most good-tempered and well-behaved crea- 
ture that can be imagined. His playfulness would some- 
times frighten strangers, and, as he increased rapidly in 
size, he found it difficult to run under the chairs, and 
these he now and then turned over in his endeavour to 
rub his back or sides against them. In the early 
morning, before the Gardens were open to the public, 
Dick would follow me on my rounds like a pet dog, 
stopping occasionally to grub up with his snout a few 
earthworms, of which he was very fond, and while so 
engaged he would lose sight of me, but, the moment he did 
so, he would rush off like a mad fellow until he overtook 
me, and always seemed in fear of being left behind. He 
was very fond of being played with, and a birchbroom 
afforded him great sport. When held to him he would 



386 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



charge at it with his tusks, small as they were at the 
time, and spin round in the most extraordinary way, 
dashing ofF to some distance, and then returning to the 
charge. He was never tired of this sham fighting, at 
which he never got out of temper, for, as soon as it was 
over, he would come into the house as pleased as any 
puppy after the fun. Dick, however, soon became too big 
for the chairs and tables, and as they were sometimes very 
much in his way he turned them over, not knowing, of 
course, that anything of value was damaged by his so 
doing ; in fact, it began to appear that Dick had a notion 
that whatever was on the table was intended for him, and 
that the proper way to get it was to turn the table over. 
It was therefore decided, on July 25, 1877, that the time 
had arrived when Dick should leave the house, and he 
has since formed part of the collection in the menagerie.” 

‘ During one of the bitter cold days we have lately had, 
there arrived a very interesting addition to the Gardens, 
namely, a little bear, sent by Mr. Cross, of Liverpool, on 
“ sale or return.” Knowing my great liking for bears, 
Mr. Bartlett kindly brought this young gentleman down 
to pay me a visit. He was a funny little fellow, about the 
size of a large rough puppy, and a very knowing customer. 
When I took him out of his box and put him before the 
fire, he sat down on his haunches, turned his head round, 
and inspected the monkeys in their cage. The monkeys 
did not know what to make of him. They did not show 
the same symptoms of alarm as when a snake is brought 
in. but they paid Mr. Bear very great respect, not even 
making a face at him. When let out of their cage, they 
took good care not to come on the ground, but invariably 



CONCLUSION 



387 



got on to the chairs, cage, or mantelpiece, always keeping 
one eye on the intruder. The bear was very inquisitive, 
and walked about the room on his short bandy legs, and 
pried into everything. What amused him most was to 
scratch up the matting forming the hearthrug and to 
hunt for something. This is his natural habit, to turn 
over stones, to catch beetles, worms, etc. His great de- 
light was to get somebody’s finger into his mouth ; he 
would then immediately begin sucking most vehemently f 
making a peculiar noise all the time, as if much gratified. 
It was necessary, however, to keep one’s finger in the 
middle of his mouth, as otherwise there was a chance of 
being nipped smartly by his canine teeth, which were 
quite large enough to hurt. He was very intolerant of 
cold, and would, if he could, get under the grate, and 
rake about among the ashes, sometimes even getting his 
fur singed. 

‘ I tried to teach him tricks, and began by making him 
stand upright in the corner of the sofa. The little rascal, 
however, would not learn anything, and his education 
finished by his making a fierce rush at me, and my boxing 
his ears. 

‘ To the servants a bear was a bear, and it was very 
amusing to hear the shindy they kicked up, when, in the 
course of his peregrinations about the house, Mr. Bear met 
them on the stairs, or went into the kitchen to warm him- 
self. He had very peculiar eyes, very pig-like and cun- 
ning, and he was fond of coming up to a visitor, staring 
him steadfastly in the face, as much as to say, “ Please 
give me something ; I think you had better.” He would 
eat almost anything, but his favourite diet was bread, 



c c 2 



388 



LIFE OF FLANK BUCKLAND 



milk and sugar. I am sorry to say I was obliged to send 
him back to the Gardens, or I should like to have made a 
companion of him, and I am certain, as he was tame, he 
would have soon become obedient. I hope somebody will 
buy him for one of the pantomimes ; he would, I think, be 
a great hit. 

‘ A propos of bears, I do not think I have ever put on 
record the story about the bear who managed to get loose 
at the Gardens. At daybreak, one fine summer’s morning, 
the watchman reported to Mr. Bartlett that there was 
something alive underneath the chairs, which, as usual, 
had been piled up after the visitors had left. When Mr. 
Bartlett came to look at the chairs, it was quite apparent 
that there was somebody or something alive in the middle 
of the pyramid. Watching carefully among the legs of 
the chairs, at last two black eyes were seen ; these were 
apparently bear’s eyes, so they counted the bears in the 
bear-pit, and one of them was found to be missing. The 
difficulty now was to get the bear back into the pit. The 
chairs were removed, one by one, till the bear remained 
unconcealed. My gentleman then got up on his hind legs, 
and showed symptoms of becoming nasty. 

‘ The bear was then surrounded by keepers in a half- 
circle. The best thing in the world to fight a wild animal 
with, is the stump end of a besom. The bear, knowing his 
way back home, went up the steps and ran along the parapet, 
over the cages in which the lions at that time lived. When 
he got home to his bear-pit, he evidently did not like the 
jump down, so he reared himself up on his liind-legs, and 
swinging himself backwards and forwards began to swear 
in a bear-like manner. While the stupid old bear was 



CONCLUSION 



389 



making a fool of himself in this way, Mr. Bartlett took a 
run at him, and knocked him clean over into the bear-pit 
with the stump end of the broom. He laid there a long 
time with all the wind knocked out of him. At last he 
got up, shook himself, and sneaked off into his den, where 
he lay mumbling for several days, but ultimately came out 
none the worse for his expedition among the chairs, or his 
tumble backwards into the bear-pit. 

1 Though bears are very good climbers, yet it is a 
mercy they cannot jump, or otherwise they would have 
long ago jumped out of the bear-pit from the top of their 
pole. Some years back a young man, on a sixpenny day, 
had an adventure with the bear. I suppose the heat of 
the weather (or other disturbing causes) made him drop 
his best holiday hat right into the bear-pit. The stupid 
fellow at once got down into the bear-pit, alighting on the 
top of a big bear who was coiled up sleeping in the sun. 
The bear got up, and taking the man by the shoulders, 
began waltzing round with him. Luckily the man kept his 
feet, and nothing worse happened, as the keeper drove off 
the bear, and let the man out at the side door. He forgot, 
however, to take his hat with him, and left it in the cage ; 
the bears, of course, tore it up. The cool impertinence of 
this man was greatly to be wondered at, as next day he 
actually sent in a bill to the Society for a new hat. 

‘ Ladies must take notice that Mr. Bartlett is not 
responsible for bonnets or feathers stolen by the monkeys. 
He was once summoned by an old woman for a bonnet. 
The old woman produced a shabby old bonnet in court 
which she valued at an exorbitant price. Mr. Bartlett, on 
the other side, produced the notice-board from the monkey- 



390 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



house warning visitors against the peculating propensities 
of the monkeys. The old woman lost her case. 

‘There is a very curious bear at the Zoological Gardens 
now. He sits up when he sees anybody coming and begs 
for what he can get. If he is shown anything and does 
not get it, he pretends to commit suicide, turning round 
and biting himself all over most furiously. This is an 
amusing beast. He cannot bear being laughed at. 

‘ A curious occurrence has lately taken place at the 
Gardens. One night one of the lions was observed to be 
in a state of great tribulation, rolling about, and trying to 
get something out of his mouth with his paws. Upon 
examining the animal to see what was the matter, Mr. 
Bartlett found that a great bone had become a fixture in 
the poor brute’s mouth. The difficulty was to remove it, 
as the lion was in a fearful temper. This was done by 
getting the lion into a “ shifting den,” where his face 
would not be very far from the bars. It was then ascer- 
tained that the object in the lion’s mouth was the spongy 
round bone, as big as a cricket-ball, which forms the 
hip-joint of a horse. The lion had had part of a haunch of 
horse for dinner, and in amusing himself with the bone, 
first got his upper large canine tooth into the soft part of 
the bone, and biting on it, the corresponding canine tooth 
in the lower jaw came through so far into the bone that it 
nearly met with the point of the upper tooth, and the 
jaw became fixed. The animal was thus prevented from 
taking food or water. Mr. Bartlett, with a great deal of 
tact and manoeuvring, managed to get this bone out of the 
lion’s mouth, and fortunately, as it was found that the 
long projecting portion of the bone was pressing hard 



CONCLUSION 



391 



upon tlie lion’s tongue. This is the third clever operation 
in dentistry that Mr. Bartlett has performed — first, remov- 
ing a big tooth from the hippopotamus ; second, operating 
on the base of the tusk of the big elephant ; third, taking 
a horse’s leg-bone out of the lion’s mouth.’ 

Frank Buckland’s last Fishery Report was presented 
on March 31, 1880. ‘I have determined to make this 
report,’ he wrote, ‘ as far as possible an outline and guide to 
those who wish to open up and improve salmon fisheries, 
in whatever part of the world they may be situated, and 
more particularly in our own country. To Ichthyology 
(both general and special), and to the art of angling, many 
works, from the days of Izaak Walton 200 years ago down- 
wards, have been devoted, but no special treatise upon the 
general management of a salmon fishery, in other words as 
salmon farming, so far as I know, exists.’ This report 
contains a most interesting description of the anatomy of 
the salmon, of its food and habits of life, its breeding, 
capture, and diseases, and will well repay perusal. 

Although failing health restrained him from bodily 
exertion, ar.d warned him too plainly that his course was 
nearly run, his intellectual activity did not flag ; it seemed 
rather stimulated to increased exertion, while life remained. 

He devcted much time to the arrangement of specimens 
for his Museum, which he now determined to leave to the 
nation to perpetuate, to the utmost of his power, that 
knowledge and love of pisciculture, which he had laboured 
to spread through all classes of people. 

Many of his last days were spent in arranging and 
naming the various kinds of oysters, and other specimens 
for the Museum. 



392 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



On April 20, 1880, the Internationa] Fishery Exhi- 
bition at Berlin was opened. Baron von Bunsen, vice- 
president of the German Fishery Society, acted as British 
delegate. ‘ This,’ Frank Buckland wrote, ‘ is what he says 
on behalf of England : “ True to the ancient English 
tradition of preferring individual enterprise to state 
action, Her Britannic Majesty’s Government declined 
to apply for any appropriation of the public funds, to- 
wards participating in a Fishery Exhibition of all nations. 
Alone, among the various countries represented at our 
show, England offers, in consequence, an Exhibition 
brought together at hap-hazard, incomplete, and out of 
all proportion to the greatness and splendour of British 
and Irish fisheries, to the capital invested in the working 
of them, to the perfection which the angler’s sport at- 
tained there centuries ago, and proudly sustains to the 
present day. Who would guess, while wending his way 
between the tables of the one room, to which we have 
reduced our claim, that the country, which sent those 
specimens, was the first to restrain the senseless destruction 
of fish in its rivers and estuaries ; the first to open up 
passages for the Salmonidce so long impeded by weirs and 
other obstacles ; the first to start the policy of prohibiting 
the pollution of ponds, lakes and rivers, by the influx of 
noxious matters from mines and factories ? Who would 
guess, that this small collection represents a race of men, 
who are at once the largest consumers of fish in the world, 
the most accomplished of anglers, and, perhaps, the keenest 
inventors in every branch of industry connected with 
fishing ? As it is, we feel certain that Mr. Frank Buckland s 
collection, so well known to every visitor of the Kensington 



CONCLUSION 



393 



Museum, and disclosing as it does the vast extent of his 
acquirements, will command the attention of all true pisci- 
culturists. Let us hope that its author may still find his 
way to Berlin to illustrate and discourse upon it with all 
the vigour of his eloquence and enthusiasm.” 

‘ As I read these words,’ Frank Buckland added, ‘ I was 
overwhelmed with shame, to think that this great country, 
with our salmon fisheries, sea fisheries, especially trawl 
and herring, oysters, crab and lobster, and pilchard, all of 
enormous value and importance, to say nothing of the vast 
amount of capital invested in angling, should be ignored 
in the presence of the representatives of fish culture, not 
only in Germany, but almost every civilised state in the 
world. When I found that the United States Government 
had voted the sum of 4,00(B. towards the exhibition of the 
products of that country, I was determined that England 
should, somehow or other, be represented. So I set to work 
with my secretary, Mr. Edon of the Fish Museum, and a 
working carpenter ; Sir Cunliffe Owen lent me packing- 
cases, and, by working very hard, we managed to send off 
from my Museum fifteen large cases full of casts, maps, 
diagrams, models of salmon-ladders, tables of statistics, 
photographs, &c.’ 

His zeal received a severe check. ‘ The following 
is the delightful news I received from Baron von Bunsen, 
who most kindly superintended my exhibit : “ No care 
was omitted ; when opening your boxes I was personally 
present. Never did I see a greater havoc than that which 
this short and easy journey had produced. The damage is 
practically irreparable.” ’ 

The injury to his casts was a grievous disappointment, 



394 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



but- borne with great equanimity. c I cannot help think- 
ing that this awful knocking about must be done by the 
vanmen and railway porters. That it is possible to send 
goods without being fractured, is evident from the fact that 
the most delicate glass things come perfectly safe from 
Vienna and other parts of the Continent. Why should 
not other cases of goods be treated as carefully as these, 
or say boxes of eggs ? It is not the heads of the carrying 
firms who are to blame, but the rude uncultivated men, 
on whom, I believe, the blame is to be laid.’ 

A gold medal and a special diploma were awarded him 
for his exhibits at Berlin, but were not received in his 
lifetime. 

Dropsy set in, for which, in June, he underwent 
an operation, many times afterwards repeated. ‘ Refused 
chloroform,’ he quaintly notes, ‘ as I wished to be present 
at the operation.’ 

A visit to Margate for some weeks revived his strength, 
and gave hope that the vigour of his constitution might 
even yet conquer disease. 

Rest from bodily work did not relax the activity of his 
mind. He pictured the history of the past, and examined 
the fishing and shrimping of the present day, as the fisher- 
men clustered round him on the beach ; and he wrote 
this description of his enforced holiday. 

c In vain do I try to take a holiday. Here I have 
been at Margate but a few hours, with orders to do nothing, 
yet my “ buttons,” John, has put out blank paper and new 
pens, and perforce I must write what I have been able to 
pick up from the balcony of my hotel. 

‘ I can’t yet make out who the natives are, ethnologically 



CONCLUSION 



395 



speaking. During our fishery inquiries the type of the 
fishermen generally gave the probable origin. Thus, on 
the south coast of Scotland the natives are Norwegians ; 
on the west Celts. I think the Margate folks are Saxons 
— they can’t be Danes. The Danes only came over here 
to plunder, and are not likely to have fraternised with the 
natives of the land, in the days of king Sigeburth, a.d. 648. 

‘The bathing seems to be excellent, to judge from the 
crowd one sees in the water. From a distance, a school 
of boys in the water looks very like a herd of seals at 
play. Why don’t they teach both men and women to 
swim ? A swimming-master to attend the bathers, at two- 
pence a lesson, would do well here. 'The bathers could 
be coached from a boat. 

‘ Shrimps — the whole place seems to be shrimps, one 
penny a pint. They are not the brown shrimps, but the 
white prawn-like shrimps, Pandanus , first discovered, I 
believe, at Yarmouth some forty years ago. There are 
also many mussels, especially on the iron pillars of the 
jetty, where they grow in great bunches. The fishermen 
are wise enough, when picking them, to put back the 
small ones to grow. These mussels are much used for 
hop and corn manure. 

‘ In the far distance one can see the great foreign- 
going ships going up or down Channel, to or from the 
port of London. Just now, in fine weather, these ships, 
with all the sails set, look like gigantic birds ; espe- 
cially beautiful when the setting sun lights up their 
sails. The sunsets at Margate are, I am told, well known 
in the artistic world. Turner — who, as Ruskin says, is 

the only man who could ever paint sunsets — used to come 



39G 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



to Margate to study the lovely skies and clouds as King 
Sol dips his head below the horizon. A great deal of the 
beauty of these Margate sunsets may be attributable to 
the setting sun illuminating with its gorgeous colouring 
the great banks of London smoke far away to the west- 
ward. 

‘ In the winter the ships sometimes come to grief, and 
several fine sea-going boats, now painting up in the 
harbour, go out to save life and property, or carry out an 
anchor and chain to sell to ships. In December 1877, no 
less than twenty-five ships were ashore within sight of 
Margate jetty. There are no finer seamen, than the 
Margate luggermen, and an accident to them seldom 
happens. 

‘ Margate, I believe, was the place where “ hoys ” were 
first used. As far as I can understand, a “ hoy ” was a 
cross between a barge and a lugger. In former times 
they were considered wonders of speed and comfort. In 
a book published in 1820, “ A Picture of Margate,” the 
number of packets, hoys, etc., which belonged to Margate 
Harbour is said to be about seventy. The crowd which 
collected upon the pier to see the packets arrive was called 
“ hoy fair.” The excellences of the “ hoy ” have been 
celebrated in verse thus : — 

Go, beauteous hoy, in safety every inch. 

1 In former times Margate was much used as a port of 
embarkation for the Continent. William III., we are told, 
often came to Margate in his way to and from Holland, and 
George I. twice landed here. Queen Caroline, wife to 
George II., came first on shore at Margate, and the great 



CONCLUSION 



397 



Duke of Marlborough chose this for his place of embark- 
ing and landing- whenever he went to or returned from his 
campaigns. The Duke of York embarked and returned 
here in his expedition to Flanders in 1793. Admiral 
Duncan also landed here after his glorious victory over the 
Dutch fleet in 1798. 

‘ The air of Margate is wonderfully pure. It is manu- 
factured in the far, far North, right among the ice floes 
of the far-distant Polar regions, the home of the whale, 
the seal, and the walrus. A vessel taking her departure 
from Margate, and steering her course N. half E., would 
hit no land until she arrived on the coast of Greenland, in 
latitude 75° North, after a run of 1,380 miles. 

‘ From the window I can see Reculvers in the extreme 
distance. 

c Peculvers was the Regulbium of those splendid 
soldiers the Romans. Here as everywhere else the 
Romans have left lots of money about. I cannot account 
for this, except that they had no pockets in their armour. 
In the time of the Romans, vessels did not go round the 
North Foreland, but through an arm of the sea, which in 
fact formed the Isle of Thanet. At the northern end was 
a fortress and a look-out, Reculvers, i.e. Regulbium ; at 
the other end was Richborough. The little river, Want- 
sume, about marks the line where this ancient sea com- 
munication passed. 

‘ When the Romans came to England, Julius Caesar 
probably looked upon a different outline of cliff than the 
Lord Mayor of London will see when he arrives in state to- 
morrow, and this alteration in the cliff line has been made in 
a curious manner. First there comes a sun-crack along the 



398 



LIFE OF FRANK RUCK LAND 



edge of the cliff; the rain-water gets into the crack, then 
comes the frost : the rain-water in freezing expands, and 
by degrees wedges off a great slice of chalk cliff; down 
this tumbles into the water, and then Neptune sets his 
great waves at work to tidy up the mess. These waves 
soon knock all to bits the tottering walls of chalk, which 
look like great slices of wedding-cake. Then the waves set 
to work and polish up the harder bits of chalk into rounded 
masses from the size of a pea to that of a billiard-ball. 
The flints are collected, and dwelling-houses made there- 
with. Flints are the best and most lasting of building 
stones ; just go and try to hammer a bit out of the Roman 
wall at Reculvers, and you will find the Romans knew how 
to build walls better than the London contractors of our 
own epoch. In the Roman wall the mortar is harder than 
the flints. By the way, at a certain watering-place in 
Wales, most extraordinary pebbles are frequently found by 
visitors, who take them to the local lapidaries to be cut 
into brooches, &c. These wonderful stones are home-made 
jewels, manufactured by the innocent waves of the ocean 
in this wise. At the end of the season all the old soda- 
water and lemonade bottles are collected, and thick bits of 
glass at the end of the bottles knocked off. These lumps 
of glass are thrown into the sea ; the sea rumbles and 
tumbles them among the shingle all the winter, and, by 
the time the next visitors’ season comes round, they are 
converted into all sorts of precious stones bearing hard 
names, and are accounted great curiosities. 

‘ In this part of Kent we find many names of places 
ending in gate : thus, Kingsgate, Ramsgate, Margate. 
Margate, the gate of the mere, or small stream, running 



CONCLUSION 



399 



into the sea; Kingsgate, near the North Foreland Light- 
house, is the gate (t.e. road cut through the chalk cliff), 
where Charles II. landed in 1683; Ramsgate is said 
to derive its name from Ruim, the ancient name for the 
Isle of Thanet, and gate, or else from “ Roman” “gate.” 

‘ Being fond of sea fish, I went out on to the end of 
the jetty, with a friend, to try our luck. John, the buttons, 
followed us with the fishing kit. I find that the more tackle 
I take the fewer fish I catch. I carry my tackle in a 
patent box of my own construction. My box acts as a 
box, a seat, and a life-buoy. It is simply a box made 
bottom, sides, and ends, with thick, rough, heavy cork, 
having a wooden lid, also corked like the rest of the box ; 
this shuts close. In case of an accident I can empty out 
the fishing kit in a moment, and have a capital life-buoy 
ready at once. 

‘ Though we tried every bait, and all sorts of tackle, 
neither of us got even a bite or a nibble, not even an eel. 
The result of our two afternoons was one mite of a green 
shore crab, and we agreed with the angling poet of old 
who wrote — 

Much for my sport I carmot say, 

Though, mind, I like the fun. 

Here have I sat the live-long day 
Without extracting one. 

However, though we got no fish, we found out the corner 
where the fishermen gutted their fish, and I got some 
capital preparations. 

‘ The fishermen leave the teeth in the mouth of the 
skates and dogfish. These teeth are very beautiful, like 
the finest tesselated pavement. I understand that at 



400 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCK LAND 



another watering-place, which shall he nameless, they 
cut out the rows of these pavement-like teeth, and sell 
them to visitors as the male and female “ shuttle shell.” 
c Though the Roman galleys and merchant vessels, 
inward bound for the port of London, saved about twenty 
miles of their journey by coming through the arm of the 
sea, which made the Isle of Thanet insular ; this “ Suez 
Canal ” of those days has not been navigable for many a 
long year. The only road, therefore, up the Thames for 
ships inward bound from the south is round the North 
Foreland. For many hundred years, therefore, this “ Pro- 
mentorium Cantium ” has been the headland chosen as the 
site of a pharos or lighthouse. Until comparatively modern 
times, a simple fire was kept burning all night ; now the 
North Foreland Lighthouse throws its rays twenty miles 
out to sea. One of its chief uses is to point out the 
position of the terrible Goodwin Sands. 

c There is much mystery about the Goodwin Sands. 
They derive their name from the Earl of Godwyne, who 
was, in 1020, created Earl of Kent by King Canute. In 
his days the Goodwins were an island, called Lomea. 
These sands are ten miles long by two wide. They are 
composed of a porous, tenacious material of a red tint, 
and are quite hard when dry. Sometimes cricket matches 
are played upon them, excursions being made from Rams- 
gate. When the tide comes up they become immediately 
a quicksand, and wrecks very soon get buried in them. 
It is a question, first, whether the Goodwins were sub- 
merged in a great rising of the sea which is on record, 
a.d. 1097 ; second, whether the land has not gradually 
sunk down ; third, whether the Goodwins do not form a 



CONCLUSION 



401 



portion of the land, which originally connected the white 
cliffs of Kent with those of France. The banks called the 
Varne and the Ridge, between Folkestone and Boulogne, 
probably also are remains of the junction, which must have 
existed before any written records, as the Saxon chroniclers 
say nothing whatever about it. My father, the Dean, used 
to say that, between Folkestone and Boulogne, the water 
was nowhere so deep as to cover the top of the tower of 
Magdalen College, Oxford. 

The Reculvers was one of the first of the fortresses 
which the Romans built, when they conquered the Cantii, 
the original British inhabitants of Cantium, i.e. Kent. 

‘ On Saturday morning, August 26, in the 54th year 
before Christ, about 10 o’clock a.m. according to an able 
paper on “ Caasar’s landing in Britain,” published in the 
“ Archaeological Journal,” in 1876, the British com- 
mander-in-chief, Cassivellaunus, and his army of ancient 
Britons, paraded in battle-array on the high cliffs near 
Dover, first saw the Roman fleet approaching. Julius 
Caesar’ s admiral had anchored his fleet the night before off 
Wessant on the French coast. The signal for sailing was 
given about 12 at night, and he anchored off Dover about 
10 next morning, remaining at anchor till about 3 in the 
afternoon. 

‘According to Julius Caesar, he beat our ancestors, the 
brave Britons, at once ; but it strikes me that General 
J ulius Caasar rather cooked his official report of this affair 
to the War Office at Rome, as no special war correspon- 
dents were allowed ; for, according to a Kentish historian, 
the Roman general got much the worst of the first fight 



D D 



402 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



with the Britons. At all events, lie bolted back to Rome 
in a very unvictorious-like manner. 

‘ I mentioned that the Roman soldiers used always to 
be dropping their money about. They seem also not to 
have been particularly .careful of their jewellery. In a 
volume of “ Archasologia Cantiana” several beautiful 
engravings of gold armillas are given. These appear to 
have been massive gold bracelets or armlets, twisted in a 
peculiar manner. One of an uncommon pattern was dug 
up in November 1872, upon Chatham Lines, by some 
soldiers throwing up a battery. This armilla weighed 
22 oz. 4 dwt., and the gold would have been worth 93 1. 
Wearing these torques was a custom of the Gauls, the 
Frenchmen of the period. One of these gold armlets was 
found in France, the intrinsic, value of which was about 200?. 

‘ The transport ships, employed by Julius Cassar and his 
generals to bring the troops across the Channel, would not 
bear a favourable comparison to such ships in the British 
navy as the “ Serapis ” Indian troopship, the “ Shah,” 
or the “ Minotaur ” ironclad; but yet they did their work 
well. These Roman war-ships used sails made of leather, 
and, instead of steam power were propelled by oars, 
arranged in a very ingenious manner. Those of the lowest 
bench were short, while those of the highest benches in- 
creased in length in proportion to their height above the 
water. There were sometimes as many as eight or ten 
banks of oars, one above the other. The ships were also 
named, and here are some of the names : the Centaui , 
the “ Scylla,” the “ Pristis ” (named from the sawfish with 
the flat rostrum edged with teeth), the “ Insigne, answer- 
ing to our “ Redoubtable.” 



CONCLUSION 



403 



‘ The ancient Britons, who lived in those days in 
Kent, were a noble set of fellows ; they all dyed them- 
selves a bluish colour, with a plant called woad ( Isatis 
tinctoria ), which is also called pastel. Query, does woad 
now exist in Kent ? They were tall men ; wore skins of 
animals, probably deer, wolves, foxes, martens, wild cats, 
otters, etc. They wore their hair very long, and allowed 
their beards to grow, so that they must have been for- 
midable in appearance. They had cavalry, but their horses 
were small. Their regiments of chariots were very well 
organised. Each chariot was driven by an experienced 
man. When in action the warrior threw spears among 
the enemy, and then jumping down, fought hand to hand, 
retiring to the chariot which waited for its master. Some- 
times they fastened sharp-cutting curved knives, or scythes 
to the axles of the chariots, and, driving into the thick of 
the enemy, cut them down. They lived principally in 
thick woods, and when the enemy pressed them re- 
tired into bogs. The food most choice among them was 
“ chenerotes,” “ a kind of fowl less than a wild goose.” 
Query, was this a wild duck? Owing to the undrained 
state of the county there must have been plenty of wild 
ducks about. I expect they knew how to make decoys, 
somewhat similar to those in Norfolk and Lincolnshire. 
Strange to say, they would not eat the hen, the goose, 
and the hare. I cannot form any notion whence they 
derived this idea. Altogether they were probably very 
like the New Zealanders of modern times as first found in 
their native island, and conquered by us English. 

‘I he first thing that most clever of generals, Julius 
Caesar, did upon his (second) landing, was to establish a 



u D 2 



404 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



fortress at Richborough, then an island, get his ships 
through the arm of the sea, and establish another fortress 
at Regulbium, now Reculvers. 

‘ As I gaze at Reculvers from Margate Jetty Head, I 
can almost recall into existence the Roman sentries pacing 
up and down on the tops of their fortified watch-towers, 
or the “ Castle guard ” of the regiment, the First Cohort 
of the Yetasii, the regiment on garrison duty while their 
trumpets sounded “ Guard turn out,” or a “ general 
salute ” maybe even to Julius Caesar himself, or to Ves- 
pasian, his second in command. 

‘ The arms and uniform of this Vetasian regiment must 
have been handsome as well as serviceable. 

‘ Here is a list of a Roman soldier’s “ kit ” : — A shield 
with an iron boss, 4 feet long by 2 feet and a-half broad, 
made of wood and covered with a bull’s-hide — an excellent 
defence against a sword-cut. A helmet of brass or iron, 
with a plume, not unlike the helmet as worn by the 
French dragoons at the present time. A cuirass of leather 
covered with iron scales or rings, greaves for the legs, and 
a heavy shoe, studded on the sole with rough nails, a 
sword, and two javelins. 

£ But where are the Romans now, and where is their 
fortress ? Gone ; disappeared deep down into the bed of 
the ocean. The sea has eaten away the land, and the 
place where the Romans built their fortress, probably 
some half mile from the present towers of the Twin Sisters, 
has disappeared under the waves of the great North Sea. 
A portion of the walls still remains inland. 

‘The fact is expressed, in the following beautiful 
lines : — 



CONCLUSION 



405 



Omnia tempus edax depascitur, omnia carpit, 

Omnia sede movet, nil sinit esse diu. 

Flumina deficiuut, profugum mare littora siccat, 

Subsidunt montes et juga celsa ruunt. 

Omnia mors poscit ; Lex est, non poena, perire : 

Ilic aliquo mundus tempore nullus erit. 

1 The Romans, fortunately, have left some traces at 
Reculvers. I obtained several Roman coins, and saw one 
representing the babies Romulus and Remus sucking a 
wolf. Mr. Bartlett thinks the story very possible, as the 
fiercest of animals when in milk seem to lose their savage 
nature ; so that the story of Romulus and Remus being 
suckled by a wolf may be true after all. 

‘ Out at sea, between Reculvers and Wkitstable, is a 
bank called the “ Pudding Pan Sand,” from the consider- 
able quantities of Roman Samian pottery every year 
dredged up from it. 

£ Reculvers was also the place chosen in subsequent 
years by the best known of Saxon kings. When Saint 
Augustine came to Canterbury, about 1060 years ago, 
King Ethelbert gave up his palace at that place to him, 
and went to live at Reculvers. St. Augustine was buried 
in Canterbury Cathedral, and Bede records his tomb to 
have borne a Latin inscription, of which the following is a 
translation : — 

‘ “ Here resteth S. Augustine, the first Archbishop ot 
Canterbury, who being formerly sent hither by the Blessed 
Gregory, Bishop of Rome, and supported of God by the 
working of miracles ; both converted Ethelbert with this 
kingdom from the worship of idols to the faith of Christ ; 
and also, having fulfilled the days of his office, dy’d on the 
7th of the Kalends of June, in the same King’s reign.” 



400 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



‘ Ethelbert is said to have been buried at Reculvers, 
but bis grave must long ago have been washed away by 
the sea. 

‘ The ruined church at Reculvers was built probably 
out of the stones that formed the Roman fortress and 
Ethelbert’s palace, and there are many of these big stones 
now existing, for they were sold to help huild the present 
pier at Margate. 

‘The following description, in the writing of the 
parish clerk of Reculvers, was found among the parish 
papers. I give it in its own language and spelling: — 
“ 1805. Reculver Church and villiage stood in safety. 
1806. The sea begun to make a little incroach on the 
willage. 1807. The farmers begun take up the seaside 
stonework and sold it to the Margate Pier Compney for 
a foundation for the new pier, and the timber by action, 
as it was good oak, fit for their hoame use, and then the 
willage became a total rack to the mercy of the sea.” 

‘ How angry J ulius Caesar would be if he only read this 
paper, and learned to what use the stones of his fortress 
at Reculvers had been put by the good people of 
Margate ! 

‘ The true Englishman has one peculiarity, he is always 
willing to take an opportunity of examining the noble 
animal which he has chosen to represent his qualities, 
viz., the Lion. For many years lions were kept — as 
almost part of the Regalia— in the Tower of London, 
thence they went to Exeter ’Change, then to the Surrey 
Gardens, till, lastly, in our own time, the Lion House at 
the Zoological Gardens, Regent s Park, has thrown all 
previous lion shows quite into the shade. 



CONCLUSION 



407 



< It was reported to me that there was a sick lioness 
in Margate, and that she was in the collection of animals 
in the Hall-by-the-Sea. We were soon off to see the poor 
patient. She was the mother of five beautiful cubs — 
perfect pictures — but had got an ailment of the lungs. 

£ It is a very curious fact that lions born and bred in 
captivity are always, when they grow up, much fiercer 
and more intractable than animals which are caught wild. 
What may be the reason of this is not yet determined. 
Lions, though natives of a hot country, can stand an 
amazing amount of cold. When Sanger’s Circus was on 
its travels in Central Germany, a fearful frost came on 
that froze even the axles of the waggon-wheels — every 
man and beast suffered much, except the lions. 

1 I was very much pleased with W alter, the keeper, who 
takes the greatest pains with his beasts. The big lion 
and Walter were great friends, the lion rubbing his ears 
against the bars as he paraded up and down while Walter 
was showing us his points, and talking to him. What 
a change for the better from the olden times when it was 
the custom to “ stir him up with a long pole,” or as was 
the case with Nero, the celebrated “ fighting lion,” so well 
known to our grandfathers, killing or maiming butchers’ 
bulldogs, matched for beer against the captive king of the 
forest ! 

1 Here is a lion story. — One dark thundery night, a 
certain caravan had pitched near a common in the West of 
England. It was the watchman’s duty to go round every 
hour to see that all was well. When he came to the lion's 
van, it was empty — the lion gone — two in the morning, a 
fearful night, a strange place, que faire , as the Frenchman 



LIFE OF FRANK BUC'KLAND 

The fact was reported to the master, who ordered 
up all the keepers, and sent them off with injunctions not 
to make the least noise, and to come back every ten 
minutes to report. After a while one of the men returned 
to say there was something alive in a furze-bush on the 
common, and that it was probably the lion. If it was the 
lion, he had struck down something and was eating it, as 
he could hear the bones crunch. He could not tell what 
the lion had got, but it was white, very white, and was 
struggling fearfully. 

‘ The lion’s van was at once drawn up near the furze 
bush, and a dark lantern thrown on the victim that the lion 
was munching : it was at last made out that it was a great 
big white goose that Mr. Lion had picked up for his early 
breakfast, and which he was loth to leave. So they 
managed to get the lion, goose, and all into his van, and to 
this day the people of the neighbourhood know nothing of 
a lion having been roaming their common all night, and 
not even the local policeman could find the man that stole 
the goose. 

1 In the den opposite the lions’ was a pair of tigers. As 
they pace up and down and cross each other’s paths with- 
out touching, just the tips of their tails moving, their 
whiskers turned back, and singing a quiet purr-song, they 
could not but excite the admiration of all lovers of tigers. 
My late friend, Thomas L. Coulson, took immense pains, as 
manager of the Bristol Zoological Gardens, with his tigers. 
The tigei'-cubs used in those days to be born in the 
Zoological Gardens with cleft palates — never so at Bristol. 
All depends on the feeding, a simple detail now pretty well 
known to all the proprietors of large carnivora. One 



408 
has it. 



CONCLUSION 



409 



necessary portion of a tiger’s diet is that lie shall have the 
hair of the animal (such as the sheep or goat) left on. 

t Walter has got his tigers so tame with kindness that 
he goes into the den with them, and the striped beauties 
seem to like his attention. Tigers, however, are but big 
cats, and their tempers uncertain. 

‘ Much has been said lately about the destruction of 
life in India by tigers. It is perfectly true that many 
natives, especially peasants, postmen, and women, are 
annually eaten by tigers. The natives pay great super- 
stitious reverence to Burra Bagh, as the tiger is called, 
and will not show his whereabouts. As a rule, I am 
told these “ man-eating ” tigers are old decrepit beasts, 
which have found out that a human being is a very defence- 
less animal, and easily pulled down, so they watch the 
roads for the postman, and the wells for the women. 

1 It is possible that the natives have a good reason for 
not liking all their tigers — in spite of the man-eaters — 
being killed. The tigers live in the thick jungle, where, 
of course, human beings do not, or rather cannot live, and 
their natural food is wild deer of all kinds, and especially 
wild pigs. If the tigers are exterminated, the deer and 
the pigs root up and destroy their crops, and the produce 
of their farms and gardens. 

£ At the extreme end of the lion house was the monkey 
house. Among the monkeys I observed a very promising 
young capuchin, the species employed by the organ men ; 
and so called because of the hair on the back of the head 
being like the black hood of a capuchin monk ; they are 
far away the cleverest of monkeys, and with kindness and 
attention soon pick up their education. I purchased this 



410 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



capuchin ; he had never been handled before, and was very 
timid, clasping his hands across his chest in a devotional 
attitude and making a piteous face. He also had a habit of 
shaking his head when spoken to ; this I have turned to 
account ; so “ Margate Jack ” and I on arriving home held 
the following conversation : — “ Jack, do you like Margate ? ” 
(Shake of the head.) “ No.” “ Did you say good-bye to the 
other monkeys ? ” “ No.” “ Do you like Walter ? ” “ No.” 
“Do you love the monkey boy ? ” “No.” “Did he feed 
you well?” “No.” “Had you a good bed?” “No.” 
“Will you go back to the Hall-by-the-Sea ? ” “No.” 
And so the little rascal went on telling me all the lies he 
could invent about Margate and his former good home, the 
Hall-by-the-Sea.” 

To the Margate shrimps a separate article was 
devoted. 

‘ There are two seaside places in England where the 
sun can be seen at this time of the year to rise from the 
sea and to set in the sea. The one is Cromer in Norfolk, 
the other Margate in Kent. The chief exports of Mar- 
gate are shrimps and grand turbots as “firm as glass 
and as white as a lily.” These are trawled up from “ The 
Falls,” a fishing bank which, with the Ridge and the 
Varne banks between Folkestone and Boulogne, produce 
the best “ butts ” (local name for turbots) sent to the 
London market. In the great Thames estuary, between 
the North Foreland on the south and Harwich on the 
north, are thousands of acres of sand plateaus, fatal to ships, 
but favourable to shrimps. From this great shrimp farm 
are netted up daily, hourly, from April to October, 
thousands and ten thousands of shrimps ; yet in spite of 



CONCLUSION 



411 



the number caught there does not appear, except at times, 
to be any falling off of these “ sea flies,” as they are some- 
times called. There are two kinds of shrimps — the brown 
and the red shrimp. A diversity of opinion obtains as to 
which is the best eating. The red shrimp is really a 
prawn, and carries a sword in his head. Examine this 
sword, and you will see what a formidable weapon it 
is. The brown shrimp carries claws, the very beauti- 
ful construction of which is seldom noticed. It will be 
found that at the tip of each claw is a tiny little hook, 
sharp-pointed and curved like a scythe. This hook fits, 
point and all, into a case, just as a knife fits into its handle. 
To what use does the prawn apply his sword, the brown 
shrimp his hooks ? Here is a problem for observers to 
solve. In spite of the advance of education in modern 
times, the rising generation does not seem to be aware of 
the presence of “ Adam and Eve ” in the brown (not the 
red) shrimp’s head. Just below and almost between the 
horns will be found two feather-like projections. Pull 
these out slowly and tenderly, hold them up to the light, 
and you will see “ Adam and Eve,” and pretty little figures 
they are. 

1 As amongst ourselves, there is a feeling of caste among 
the shrimps. They do not hit it off at all together, but live 
in quite different places. The red shrimp prefers hard 
“ rossy ground ; ” the brown yellow delights in sand, and 
sand only. They differ also in their food, but both species 
will eat very young mussels and cockles called “trail ; ” they 
are more carnivorous than herbivorous. In examining a 
sample of shrimps, it will be perceived that in one sample 
the take runs much of a size, while in another sample there 



412 



LIFE OF FRANK 13UCKLAND 



are shrimps of all sizes, some being not much larger than 
big fleas. The reason of this is that in some fishing 
villages along the English coast the custom obtains of 
riddling the shrimps at sea; i.e. when the net is hauled 
on deck the shrimps are put into a sieve with iron wires, 
and riddled over the side of the vessel ; the babies fall 
back into the water to grow, the big ones are consigned 
to the boiling pot ; and there is an art even in boiling 
shrimps. This process is called “ dusting the stuff'.” The 
gauge of the riddle varies in different places, but it is 
always measured by easily accessible coins. The following 
are some of the tests used : Threepenny pieces, an old 
penny and a farthing, twopenny pieces and a sixpence, &c. 
At Leigh, near Southend, the men have a rule among 
themselves, whereby every shrimper is bound in honour to 
riddle his catch at sea; an excellent example, which should 
be followed by all shrimpers. 

1 There exists much animosity between the deep-sea 
trawlers and the shrimpers : the allegation against the latter 
being, that they destroy the fry of such fish as soles, plaice, 
turbots, skates, etc. If the lower end of the mesh of a 
shrimp-net be examined, it will be found so small as to be 
capable of catching a needle, and it is without doubt the 
fact, that the shrimp-nets do destroy an immense quantity 
of fry. To use a trawler’s words, “Them chaps kills 
basketfulls as would become netfulls ; and in course soles 
is dear.” We have seen specimens of little soles from the 
size of a thumb-nail up to “ cats’ tongues ; ” and lambs’ 
tongues is a measure exactly representing the size of these 
murdered innocents killed by the shrimpers. 

‘ The trawlers say no sole is a sole under seven inches 



CONCLUSION 



413 



in length. Skates and rays, not larger than a half-crown 
cut into a diamond pattern, are also killed, as well as 
young whitings not so large as big minnows, besides many 
forms of minute and immature fish — animal lye which the 
fishermen call “ sea vermin,” and “ rubbish.” To lovers 
of nature, these sea gems in the rubbish are quite as 
beautiful in design and colouring as many of the works ot 
art turned out by jewellers. Here, for instance, we have 
the star fish or “ five finger,” the great enemy to oysters 
and mussels. Here also we find little fish, with a face like 
a pantomime mask, called the u hard head ” or “ hook nose.” 
This little fellow has two sharp curved hooks at the tip of 
his snout, and the rising generation of shrimpers hook the 
“ hard head ” on the tip of their noses, and then chuck them 
with a jerk backwards over their heads : here then is a new 
game for London juveniles at the seaside. The shrimpers 
will readily save some hook-noses if asked so to do. 

1 The principal shrimping grounds near Margate are 
the “ Queen’s Channel,” the “ Gore,” and the grounds below 
the Nore Light. 

‘ The art of shrimping was first discovered at Margate 
by Mr. J. Shrubsall, fish merchant, of that town. When 
he first began, thirty years ago, he has taken from 30 to 
1 00 gallons of shrimps at one haul. In the neighbourhood 
of Pegwell Bay and Ramsgate Way most of the shrimps 
are caught by “ pushing ” — i.e. by a hand-net worked by 
a man wading. Historians have not recorded, whether the 
Roman soldiers in Julius Csesar’s time, when off duty from 
their fortress at Richboro’, took to “ Tea and shrimps.” 
Londoners do not pay sufficient respect to shrimps, but yet 
they are of considerable importance, for the London cooks 



414 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



know well how to make them do duty for oysters, during 
the close season for “ natives,” which, by the way, ends on 
the 4th of this month. Shrimping, it must be remembered, 
is an industry of considerable national importance, espe- 
cially as affording occupation for the poor fishermen, food 
for the poor people in London and the midland counties, 
and training for men and boys who afterwards join the 
navy and the merchant service. Morecambe Bay may be 
said to be placed, as regards shrimps, next in importance 
to the Thames estuary ; the Morecambe Bay shrimp fisheries 
alone are worth about 4,00(B. a year. Shrimps from this 
part of Lancashire are sent mostly to the vast manufac- 
turing populations of the iron districts and the midland 
counties. Shrimps afford excellent natural barometers to 
the fishermen — like plaice they are off into deep water 
when bad weather is coming, and they “ smells the frost a 
coming.” ’ 

In August Frank Buckland returned to London and 
went for the last time to the Fishery Office, and to the 
Home Office to present his report. 

In this month a large orang-outan arrived in London, 
and was described in two characteristic articles sent to the 
‘ Daily News.’ 

The last time Frank Buckland left his house was to 
visit the orang-outan. 

‘ August 21, 1880. — There is nowin London one of the 
largest orangs that has ever been brought to this country. 
Young orangs are by no means uncommon, but they are 
excessively delicate and difficult to rear; in fact, they 
are only babies. These young orangs, when sitting in 
their box wrapped in flannels, generally look very grave 



CONCLUSION 



415 



and sedate. They have somewhat the physiognomy of 
an eastern prince, who has nothing particular to do, yet 
is fond of being amused by other people. The present 
orang, however, is an adult, or nearly an adult, and has 
all his wits about him, and is terribly fierce. He has been 
brought from Malacca, and is somewhere between four 
and five feet high, if not bigger. As his brilliant and 
watchful eyes peer through the bars at the visitors, it will 
be seen that his physiognomy differs as much from that of 
the infant members of his family, as does the expression of 
a child a year or two old from that of an adult man, in full 
mental and bodily vigour. He is covered with hair of a 
reddish colour, and is a little bald on the top of the head, 
giving him rather a professional appearance. He evidently 
thinks his present apartment is not big enough for him, for 
he is continuously shaking his cage, and so tremendous is 
his strength of arm and hand, that should anything give 
this “ wild man of the woods ” a chance, it would not be 
long before he would be off ; and then who is to catch 
him again ? Such an event, however, is not likely to 
happen, as Mr. Orang’s teeth, though tremendous weapons, 
cannot bite through iron chains. There is just space 
enough between two of the bars for him to put out his 
hand and arm, and he is continually stretching out his long 
hairy arm to see if he can clutch anything or anybody 
with his hand, which, though a veritable hand, is more 
like a foot. The fingers are small and tapering, very 
strong, and about five inches long. Both his foot and 
hand are most admirably adapted for living in trees, his 
hand forming a natural grapnel, by means of which he can 
swing himself from branch to branch, while the great toe 



416 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCK LAND 



of his foot acts as does the thumb in our own hand. 
When attempting to. walk he makes a very poor go of it, 
using his long arms to support himself, just as a cripple 
works his crutches. At home in his tropical forest he 
doubtless could spin along the tree tops at a Derby pace. 
The hair about his lysad is so arranged that he appears to 
wear whiskers. He has, moreover, a reddish beard, and 
under this beard is a very remarkable pouch, the use of 
which has not as yet been clearly ascertained. As, how- 
ever, it is capable of dilatation with air, it is, in all proba- 
bility, directly connected with the organ of voice. It is 
not necessary to go to his native woods to hear him sing, 
as, when in a temper, his oratorical remarks are couched in 
language which no one can fail to understand. It is a 
wonder to me how the natives ever managed to catch 
him, whether as an infant, or of full growth. 

Three great tailless apes are known to naturalists — the 
gorilla, the chimpanzee, and the orang. The existence of 
the gorilla was first made known about thirty years ago, 
when a traveller in the Gaboon country, on the West Coast 
of Africa, discovered a skull fixed on a post, in a dark and 
gloomy part of the forest. It was ornamented with broad 
red stripes, crossed by a white stripe. The natives regarded 
it as a “ fetish,” and treated it with the greatest reverence 
and respect. It was the skull of a very large gorilla. We 
have never yet seen a full-grown gorilla in this country ; 
but the orang just arrived from Malacca is by far the 
largest specimen of these apes, and is therefore of the 
highest interest. Orang-outan, in the Malay language, 
signifies the “ wild man.” These “ wild men ” are found 
in the islands of Sumatra and Borneo. They are forest 



CONCLUSION 



417 



animals, and rarely seen. The orang is a purely diurnal 
animal, as the pupil of his eye — like that of a dog, and 
not of a cat— will tell us. He is probably the animal 
which gave rise to the “ Satyr,” “ Pan,” and the “ Fauns ” 
of Roman times. The islands of the orang’s home are 
nearly all covered with a dense, gloomy, tropical forest, and 
what is not forest is jungle or swamp. They are nearly 
under the Equator, and therefore well suited as the habitat 
of these big apes, especially as fruits are abundant. It is 
in these forests, where human beings cannot and dare not 
enter, that the orang is lord and master. Of their habits, 
and the maximum size to which they attain, nobody 
— not even the native hunter — can tell us much, if any- 
thing. The old males live solitary lives in the forests, 
but the young ones follow their mother, and are said to stay 
a long time under her guardianship, and (as may be seen 
sometimes at the Zoological Gardens) the baby ape clings 
round the neck of the mother, who carries her infant about 
among the tree tops. It is at this time that young 
orangs are caught. It is probable that somehow or other 
this adult orang was not caught young, but was trapped 
or snared when adult. 

‘ The orang is very intolerant of cold ; yet his native 
forests are, when the sun goes down and the fog rises, 
very cold at night. Under these circumstances, the orang 
creeps in among the parasitic orchids, and, making a sort of 
nest, covers himself all over. This habit the animal at 
Westminster retains, and it will be seen that he is very 
fond of his blanket, and frequently wraps himself up alto- 
gether, leaving just a peep-hole, through which he inspects 
his visitors. His eyes are very close together, but very 



418 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



bright, watchful, and observant ; he is also very quick of 
hearing. 

‘ When a man perforins the part of a monkey, whenever 
he possibly can he stands upright; the orang, on the con- 
trary, whenever he possibly can, goes on all fours. His hand, 
in fact, is a grapnel. We men have the power of placing the 
thumb so as to meet the tip of any finger on the same hand 
— hence the principal superiority of man over all other 
animals, inasmuch as by means of the thumb he can make 
himself clothes, procure food, forge weapons, &c. The 
thumb of the orang, on the contrary, is on his foot. 
Lascars and other sailors use their great toes in climbing 
ropes, and the Australian savages are very clever in climb- 
ing up trees and picking up very small articles with the 
naked feet. Civilised men lose much by not using their 
great toes, which may be easily educated to work. The 
orang’s foot is admirably contrived for living in trees. 
When sitting on a flat surface he tucks his legs under him, 
but when sitting on a bough he holds on by means of the 
thumb of his foot. As regards his brain power, much is yet 
to be learnt, as, though anatomically similar, the brain of 
this big monkey is far below the standard of intelligence of 
even the lowest of the human race. Let us instance one 
point. No monkey of any species, where the experiment has 
been tried, would ever put a stick or coal on to an expiring 
fire ; he would sit and shiver by the fire till it goes out. His 
mind is not sufficiently acute to see the connection between 
cause and effect, so as to put coal on to keep the fire going. 
There is another thing, showing the great difference between 
a man and a tailless ape, such as the orang. If an object 
be given to a monkey he immediately smells at it, even if 



CONCLUSION 



419 



that object is not meant for food purposes. Human beings 
do not do this; they trust to the eyes and the touch. 
Ao-ain, when even the most savage of men fight, it is very 

O' 

seldom indeed we hear of their biting each other ; but the 
moment the monkey’s “ monkey is up,” that instant he 
begins to use his teeth and to bite. Their teeth are 
weapons of offence and defence, while our teeth we use 
instinctively for much more peaceful purposes. When big 
baboons are introduced to each other for the first time, 
they generally pretend to yawn. This is really to show 
each other their long, sabre-like, canine teeth, and to say, 
“ Look out ; I have as sharp teeth as you.” 

1 There are so many gentlemen who have leisure and 
means, that we beg to suggest that those who have the 
opportunity should make it their pleasure and business to 
visit some of these orangs in their tropical forests. Let 
them, for once, leave the gun and rifle at home, and take 
only the telescope and field-glass, the sketch-book and 
pencil. Naturalists and anatomists know quite enough 
of the structure, as compared with man, of the orang, 
gorilla, and chimpanzee. There are skeletons and skins in 
abundance of all these in England, but nobody, not even 
Professor Owen himself, can tell the social manners and 
customs of an animal from his skeleton and the structure 
of his muscles. What is wanted now to fill up this vacant 
gap is an account of the home life of these great apes. 
This is not to be obtained by shooting and persecuting 
them ; but by meeting them, as it were, in a friendly 
manner. Much has lately been said as to the relationship 
of man with monkeys. In purely physical structure the 
architecture of the monkey is not unlike that of the human 



E E 2 



420 



LIFE OF FEANK BUCKLAND 



being. When, however, the very lowest of the human 
race is placed alive, and in good health, alongside the very 
highest of the monkey family, it will be immediately 
perceived that there is a vast gulf between the two, which 
has never been bridged over.’ 

The Centenary of Whitebait was recorded in another 
article : — 

1 September 1, 1880.— Her Majesty’s Ministers, when 
sitting down to-day to their whitebait dinner at Greenwich, 
should not fail to recollect that the present year commemo- 
rates the hundredth year of the eating of whitebait. It 
was jn 1/80 that one Richard Cannon, a fisherman of 
Blackwall, first introduced whitebait as a savoury dish. 
From that time to the present it has gradually grown in 
public favour, till at last the industry of whitebait catching 
has been promoted to an important branch of British 
fishery industries. This year it was as nearly as possible' 
a case of a “ whitebait dinner without whitebait.” We 
have it on the authority of the largest dealer in whitebait 
in Billingsgate Market, that whitebait fishing has been 
over now about a fortnight ; special boats therefore have 
been put on, on purpose to get the requisite supply for 
to-day’s dinner. The proper whitebait season is con- 
sidered by the principal Thames fishermen to begin when 
Parliament begins, and end when Parliament ends. This 
is the rule they have gone by for many years past, or, to 
put it according to the almanack, they begin with their 
nets in February, and go on to the middle of August. This 
year Parliament has held its sittings so late, that the white- 
bait, not being able to wait so long, have adjourned to the 
sea, thence to return as sprats about next November, 



CONCLUSION 



421 



especially being careful to remember that they are due at 
the Mansion House on the 9th of November. “ Bait,” as 
it is technically called, varies much in size and quality 
according to the season of the year. Thus, in February 
and March, considerable numbers of “yawlings” are 
caught. These are without doubt “ yearling ” herrings. 
In June and July the bait run very small, and ‘‘heads and 
eyes ” appear in the nets. These are very minute, gela- 
tinous little creatures, so transparent that the bright, 
silvery eye is the most noticeable portion of them. At 
various times of the year appear also “ Polwigs,” i.e. 
voung gobies and “ Rooshans,” infant weaver fish, as 
likewise “ buntings ” (brown) and red shrimps, sand eels, 
sticklebacks, &c. We have carefully examined a sample 
of the “ bait ” similar to that which will be caught to-day 
for the dinner. It consists almost entirely of young sprats 
— lovely little fish, as silvery as a new shilling, and in 
excellent condition. It has lately been alleged that killing 
this fry is a wasteful process, and that they should be 
allowed to grow into adult fish, but in the estuary of the 
Thames sprats are not falling off — in fact, it often happens 
in the winter months that Billingsgate market is over- 
stocked with sprats in consequence of so many “ garvies ” 
(Scotch for sprats) being sent from Inverness and other 
firths of Scotland. This also accounts for the fact that, 
when abundant, sprats are largely used for manure for 
the Kentish hop-gardens and turnip fields. 

‘ The value of whitebait as whitebait is very large. One 
firm alone pays 100Z. a week in wages during the season, 
and at another place about l,000h a year is coming in as 
wages to the whitebait catchers. Under these circum- 



422 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



stances it is not likely that Parliament will ever be asked 
to make it illegal for the fishermen to catch or the public 
to eat whitebait. As regards the origin of the term 
whitebait, in former times these little fishes were used as 
“ bait ” for the crab pots ; then as now they were very 
bright and silvery, and were called “ white-bait,” in con- 
tradistinction to other baits that were not white. When 
they became fashionable as food for Londoners they still 
retained their name “ whitebait,” by which appellation 
they will probably be still known at ministerial dinners 
for many years to come.’ 

A severe relapse occurred, and Frank Buckland now well 
knew his days were numbered ; yet, notwithstanding the 
distressing nature of his malady, he gave unremitting 
energy to his literary work. 

Articles from his pen continued to appear in the daily 
papers and ‘ Land and Water.’ 

A new edition of the £ Natural History of British Fishes ’ 
was carried through ; also a revised edition of ‘ White’s 
Natural History of Selborne ; ’ both completed in the last 
month of his life. 

He arranged and partly revised a series of his articles, 
which were published shortly after his death under the 
title of ‘ Notes and Jottings from Animal Life.’ 

Those who saw him during his long illness will well 
remember how soon the distressed look of disease would 
give way to his old bright smile, and even merry laugh, as 
he poured out his last droll story, or quaint bit of know- 
ledge, till he would stop and say, * Is it not strange, when I 
am talking to you I forget my illness ? At first it seemed 
hard to be cut short in full career of energy and usefulness. 



CONCLUSION 



423 



He likened himself to Job, and wondered why he was so 
sorely tried ; but when the end drew near, he bowed himself 
to the Supreme Will, and, not unconscious of error, or that 
a nature so vehement was not always subject to due 
control, he received the last rites of Christianity, and pre- 
pared to die at peace with God and man. ‘ God is so good,’ 
he said, ‘ so very good to the little fishes, I do not believe 
He would let their inspector suffer shipwreck at last.’ 

‘ I am going a long journey where I think I shall see 
a great many curious animals. This journey I must go 
alone.’ 

He died on December 19, and his body was laid to 
rest in Brompton Cemetery on Christmas Eve 1880. 

‘ I think it not improbable,’ he wrote in his private 
diary in 1846, ‘that, in a future state, the mind will be 
allowed a greater scope of knowledge, and the gates of 
omniscience will be thrown open to it, so that those things, 
which it now sees through a glass darkly, will be opened 
to the view and understanding. 0 most glorious reward, 
for a mind occupied here on earth in investigating the 
wonderful works of the Creator, from the magnificent and 
stupendously grand scene of geology, and the theory of the 
heavens, to the minute and delicate construction of a 
microscopic animalcule, or the immeasurably fine thread of 
a plant ! ’ 

His last work was the preface to the ‘ Natural History 
of British Fishes,’ which was sent to press two days before 
his death. It was thought out in nights of pain, and 
dictated in the morning in intervals of gasping breath. 

After insisting on the national importance of British 
fisheries, he continues : 1 1 have another object in writing 



424 



LIFE OF FRANK 13UCKLAND 



this book ; it is to endeavour to show the truth of the good 
old doctrine of the Bridgewater Treatises, which have so 
ably demonstrated the power, wisdom, and goodness of 
God as manifested in the Creation. Of late years, the 
doctrines of so-called Evolution and Development have 
seemingly gained ground among those interested in 
natural history ; but to put matters very straight, 1 
steadfastly believe that the G reat Creator, as indeed we are 
directly told, made all things perfect and “ very good ” from 
the beginning ; perfect and very good every created thing 
is now found to be, and will so continue to the end of 
time. I am very willing to prove my case, by holding a 
Court at any time or place, before any number of people of 
any class. I would impanel a jury of the most eminent 
and skilful railway and mechanical engineers, while the 
only witnesses I should call would be the fish fresh from the 
deep-sea trawler, the city fish market, or the fishmonger’s 
slab : I would adduce from them evidence of “ design, 
beauty, and order,” as evinced in such as the electric 
organs of the torpedo, the gun-lock spine of the file-fish, the 
water reservoirs and spectacles of the eel, the teeth of the 
gilt-head bream, the anchor of the lump sucker and remora, 
the colouring of the perch and bleak, the ichthyopha- 
gous teeth of the pike, shark, and silvery hair-tail, the tail 
of the fox shark, the prehensile lips of the dory and sprat, 
the nose of the barbel and dogfish, the resplendence of 
the arctic gymnetrus and scabbard fish, the dagger in the 
tail of the sting-ray, the nest of the stickleback, the 
armour plates of the sturgeon, the nostril-breathing powers 
and store of fat in the salmon ; migrations of the salmon, 
herring, pilchard, sprat, and mackerel and, above all, the 



CONCLUSION 



425 



enormous fertility of fishes useful as food to the human 
race. I am satisfied that I should obtain a verdict in 
favour of my view of the case, namely, that in all these 
wonderful contrivances there exists evidence of design and 
forethought, and a wondrous adaptation of means to an end. 

Thus to trace the power of the Creator in His works, 
and to increase the use of His creatures to mankind, were 
to Frank Buckland the chief ends of natural history, and 
the chief purpose of his life. 

He was indeed slow, nay, unwilling, to admit the truth 
of Darwin’s teaching, and of the theory of evolution, too 
often represented as superseding the necessity of a Creator, 
and the evidence of design ; and he often humorously but 
vehemently protested against his supposed relationship to 
his monkey pets. The point of his protest was against 
the notion that chance could produce the order of the 
universe, or a monkey develop itself into a man. 

To him, the old notion of a universe formed by a for- 
tuitous concourse of atoms, was not more unreasonable, than 
the notion of the harmony of Nature, or the structure of 
any beast or fish, being the result of a mere chance combi- 
nation of circumstances. Each alike must beget chaos. 

Darwin himself intended nothing in his theories ad- 
verse to religion, and, while exploring the depths of the 
history of animal life, saw that the origin of life, the power 
and laws of reproduction, the energy of variability, and 
that correlation of growth, which controls variation and 
educes harmony, were alike inscrutable . 1 

Evolution, therefore, is but a mode of creation, and 
each varying birth, however subject to natural law, an act 
1 Origin of Species, 6th edit., pp. 10, 106, 421. 



426 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



of creative power ; and could a chain of development be 
traced throughout, even from inert matter, through proto- 
plasm and zoophyte, through reptile, mammal and ape, 
direct to man, then, unless the clod endowed itself with 
motion, sense and reason, the sum would be the same— that 
God formed man out of the dust of the ground, and 
breathed into him the breath of life. 

How gradual or how rapid changes of animal form 
have been may well be debated. Plants vary much by 
sports, errant seedlings, which again are specially variable 
and favour rapid change. The analogy of plants, the more 
plastic nature of varieties among animals, the defined 
character of species and lack of intermediate forms, may 
indicate that changes in animal forms were often more 
marked or sudden than some have supposed. 

However this may be, the controversy, whose fires are 
but now dying out, between those who admire in the 
present system of nature the evidence of design, and those 
who would trace back the laws of growth under which 
that system has been built up, shows (like the gold and 
silver shield) but two sides of the same truth. As Coper- 
nicus and Newton disturbed but to enlarge men’s knowledge 
of the wonders of the heavens, and Dr. Buckland and 
other geologists widened the former limited conceptions of 
the structure of the earth, so the more profound and com- 
plex the laws of the history of animal life are found, the 
deeper should be our apprehension of the Creative Power 
and Skill which Frank Buckland and his father loved to 
explain and illustrate. 

By his will Frank Buckland gave his Museum to the 
nation, to be retained at South Kensington ; the rest of his 



CONCLUSION 



427 



property lie bequeathed to his widow, after whose death 
5,000£. was given to found a lectureship on fish culture, in 
connection with his Museum. 

The Museum contains about four hundred casts of fish, 
mostly moulded with his own hands, besides a large collec- 
tion of other objects, illustrating the science of fish and 
oyster culture. 

A marble bust of Frank Buckland has been placed, by 
subscription, in his Museum. 

From among many letters testifying to the public and 
private loss Frank Buckland’s death occasioned, the 
following £ Recollections,’ sent by Mr. Archibald Young to 
the £ Scotsman,’ may be quoted : 

£ Having been intimately associated with Mr. Buckland 
for eleven years, we naturally wish to express our sorrow 
for his death, our respect for his memory, and to bear our 
testimony to his many gifts and attractions as a colleague 
and a companion. We first made his acquaintance in 
1870, when appointed along with him to inquire into and 
report upon the effect of recent legislation on the Salmon 
Fisheries of Scotland. During that year we travelled 
together for four months throughout Scotland, visiting all 
the fishing districts, and inspecting upwards of sixty 
salmon rivers, so that we had ample opportunities of no- 
ticing Mr. Buckland’s quickness of observation, and his 
intimate acquaintance with the habits of the salmon, and 
of admiring his kind, genial, and obliging disposition. At 
that time he was in the prime of life, somewhat under the 
middle height, but broad-shouldered and powerfully built, 
with a clever pleasant face, in which the most noticeable 
features were the large, dark, expressive eyes. He was 



428 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



about the most true and genuine man we ever met, with- 
out a particle of affectation, saying what he thought and 
felt simply and naturally. He learned to have a thorough 
enjoyment of life in all its phases ; and it would have 
been difficult to say whether he was most at home in the 
polished society of a luxurious country house, or while 
engaged in demonstrating the anatomy of a salmon, a 
herring, or a lobster to a group of fishermen assembled 
round a fishing-boat on the beach. At that time he took 
but little care of himself, and thought nothing of wading 
across a river up to his waist, even though he could not 
change his wet clothes for hours afterwards ; or minutely 
examining the structure and details of a salmon-ladder while 
up to his knees in water. At that period he seemed to 
have a wonderful amount of latent caloric, and never 
appeared to feel cold. He was a great smoker, and to him 
a pipe or a cigar was an absolute necessary of life. Yet 
his constant smoking never seemed to spoil his appetite 
or to lessen his natural vivacity and flow of spirits. On 
every subject, which bore upon his special study of natural 
history, whether connected with our inquiry or not, he 
took a lively interest. In politics, too, he felt keenly, and 
was a strong Conservative and Church of England man. 

1 In the close of 1876, we had again the pleasure of 
being associated with Mr. Buckland in an inquiry into 
the Crab and Lobster Fisheries in Scotland; and an 
excellent specimen of his happy manner of dealing with 
subjects in natural history, which in other hands would 
prove tiresome and uninteresting, will be found in the 
paper in the appendix to the Report “On the Natural 
History of Crabs and Lobsters.” What will those who 






CONCLUSION 



429 



object to crab and lobster suppers say to tbe following 
extract ? — “ Tbe presence of phosphorus in the lobster is 
of great importance to the consumers of these sea luxuries ; 
there is no substance which conveys phosphorus so readily 
into the human system in an agreeable form, and which 
the system so readily and quickly assimilates, as the flesh 
of crabs and lobsters. For this reason lobsters, crabs, and 
oysters should form the diet of those engaged in business 
or arduous literary pursuits, where there is much wear 
and tear of the brain powers by thought, and therefore an 
extra supply of phosphorus is required for the food of the 
brain. It is for this reason, I imagine, that lobsters and 
crabs are generally eaten and most esteemed for supper. 
The brain towards night begins to feel a little exhausted, 
the lobster, crab, or oyster quickly supplies the want, and 
the system immediately feels the effect.” In August and 
September 1877, we were again the colleague of Mr. 
Buckland in an inquiry into the Herring Fisheries of 
Scotland, during which not only the coasts of Scotland 
were visited, but likewise the Hebrides and the Orkney 
and Shetland Islands. Mr. Buckland’s individual contri- 
butions to the report, published in 1878, which followed 
upon this inquiry, are highly interesting, and consist of 
two papers in the appendix entitled “ Notes on the 
Natural History of the Herring,” and the “ Garvie 
Fisheries of Scotland.” 

‘ Not very long after the publication of this report, 
Mr. Buckland’s health began to fail, and when we next 
met him, on the inquiry connected with the Salmon Disease, 
we were struck with the change in his appearance. The 
robust frame had shrunk, and the healthy cheek paled. 



430 



LIFE OF FRANK BUCKLAND 



He seemed but the shadow of bis former self. Yet his 
interest in his favourite pursuits was unabated, and his 
mind was as actively vivacious as ever. But sitting in 
close rooms and examining witnesses during a long day 
exhausted him, and brought on distressing attacks of 
asthma, and he was ultimately obliged to give up assisting 
at the concluding inquiries. 

‘ We have hitherto spoken only of Mr. Buckland’s 
labours with reference to the Scotch fisheries. As 
memorials of his more special work connected with the 
fisheries of England and Wales, nineteen annual reports 
remain, of which the last, published in 1880, contains an 
excellent account of the natural history of salmon. In 
1879, a most able and exhaustive report on the Sea 
Fisheries of England and Wales was drawn up by Mr. 
Buckland and Mr. Walpole ; and one of the best things 
lately written by Mr. Buckland occurs in the appendix, 
and is entitled ££ A Short History of the Commercial, 
Trawl-net, Drift-net, and Hook Fish alluded to in the 
foregoing Report.” 

£ In ££ Land and Water,” of which he was the chief 
pillar and support, Mr. Buckland continued to write almost 
until the close of his career, and the number published on 
the 18th of the present month contains a paper from his 
hand on the different species of oysters. Writing, indeed, 
seems to have been the solace and amusement as well as 
the business of his life. He wrote a great deal, and easily 
and rapidly, not only at his office and at his house, but in 
railway carriages, steamboats, and other public convey- 
ances. His writings, like those of most men who have 
written so much and so rapidly, are unequal, but the best 



CONCLUSION 



431 



of them are admirable. The style is thoroughly original, 
and wonderfully descriptive, bringing the object or scene 
written about clearly and vividly before the reader’s eye ; 
and it may safely be affirmed that no one has ever done 
more to render natural history popular and attractive. 

‘Mr. Buckland was a delightful companion, kind, 
helpful, of a joyous buoyant temperament, and abounding 
in anecdotes of his medical student days ; of his career as 
doctor in the Life Guards ; of his Museum of economic 
fish-culture at South Kensington ; of Jamrach’s menagerie ; 
of the Zoological G ardens ; of everything in and about 
London and elsewhere relating to natural history ; all told 
with a vigour and spirit that added to their intrinsic 
interest. He was deservedly and justly a public favourite ; 
but it is only his intimate friends and associates who can 
know what a good and gifted man has passed away from 
among us into the silent land.’ 

1 No more zealous, truth-loving, or painstaking man,’ 
said another friend , 1 c ever studied more earnestly or de- 
scribed more accurately the various gifts and instincts, the 
nature and habits of birds and beasts. A quaint vein of 
humour runs through his writings, which must commend 
them to every reader, especially to the young ; and few 
writers have conveyed more varied and useful information. 
His conversation, which generally turned upon subjects 
connected with his favourite study, was equally animated, 
instructive, and amusing. Who that knew him has ever 
forgotten his hearty jocund laugh, and the half-comic 
earnestness with which he enforced his favourite dogmas ? 

1 Mr. George Rooper: President’s Address to Hertfordshire Natural 
History Society, 1883. 



432 



LIFE OF FBANK BUCKLAND 



Buckland emulated White and Waterton in never statins 
anything as a fact, of which he had not satisfied himself 
by actual experiment. I once found him cooking a piece 
of a dead kelt. “ Good gracious ! ” I said, “ how can you 
eat anything so abominably nasty ? ” “ No doubt,” he said, 
“it is nasty enough, but how can I say so unless I have 
tried it ? ” 

‘ I remember his earnest wistful face, as he contemplated 
a large oyster, of what kind I know not, but it was almost 
as big as a cheese-plate. He looked at it once or twice 
with an evident wish to experiment upon its flavour, but 
although blessed with a very strong stomach, his resolution 
failed him, and he resolved to make the experiment 
vicariously. He called in a dustman, and on the prin- 
ciple of fiat experimentum in corpore vili , offered him a 
shilling to eat it. The spirit of the dustman was willing 
but his stomach weak, and he recoiled from the under- 
taking. Buckland increased the bribe by an added pot of 
porter. On this the dustman devoured half the tempting 
bivalve, but suddenly retired without completing the 
experiment, and the precise flavour of that oyster is still 
locked unrecorded in the dustman’s breast. 

‘Well, he has passed away and has left his works behind 
to speak of him. His works, as his memory, will long 
endure, a monument of patient, kindly, and scientific 
observation.’ 

The successive exhibitions of pisciculture at Norwich, 
at Edinburgh, and in London, and their remarkable 
popularity, are no slight evidence of the extent to which 
Frank Buckland had evoked a popular interest in his 
favourite science. 



CONCLUSION 



433 



Those who would know Frank Buckland better should 
read his books, which, after all, form his best portraiture. 
In these, the incidents of his life, his pets, his queer com- 
panions, are made familiar, and on this thread are strung 
a fund of curious information and droll anecdote. These 
seem to talk to us in his old tones, and recall his spark- 
ling eye and merry laugh, his restless energy, and tender- 
ness of feeling for man and beast. 



I.ONDOS : POINTED BT 

SPOTTISWOODE AND CO., NEXV-STHEET SQUARE 
AND I'AttLlAMKNT STBEKX 



Y/itji Portrait and Illustrations, crown 8vo. 12s. Gd. 

NOTES AND JOTTINGS FROM 
ANIMAL LIFE. 

By the late FRANK BUOKLAND. 



OPINIONS OF THE PRESS. 

« \ chatty, and entertaining series of articles, bristling with information con- 
cerning places far off and near at home as well. The volume is certain to prove a 
favourite in the hands of young and old alike.’ — Observer. 

« In taking up Mr. Buckland’s volume one is sure to light upon something of 
interest, narrated or described in a style which is lively rather than lefined or care- 
ful but which is an exception to the rule that easy writing makes hard reading.’ 

Saturday Review. 

‘ A book brimful of anecdote and animal adventures, delightful reading for all 
times and places.’ — T he Guardian. 

* Cannot fail to amuse as well as instruct.’ — Daily Telegraph. 

‘ These papers cannot fail to delight anyone blessed with a taste for the curious 
and less obvious sides of natural history. . . . The whole book is a good example 
of a difficult yet fascinating kind of writing.’ — Academy. 

‘ The four hundred pages of which the book consists is crammed full of interesting 
notes of all kinds, some of them accompanied by illustrations. . . . The entire 
contents of the book, from the first page to the last, including a well illustrated 
chapter on the Great Sea Serpent, will be equally interesting and valuable.’ 

Journal of Forestry. 

* Contains several illustrations, not the least attractive being the photograph 
of the lamented author himself as he appeared in his sanctum in Albany Street, 
with a gigantic salmon as one of his supporters. This admirable and characteristic 
likeness will add to the value of the book, which will make an admirable gift 
book, whether for young or old readers, who have a taste for natural history.’ 

John Bull. 

‘ In a very well got up volume we have a collection of papers by Mr. Buckland. 
. . . . The papers thus collected are of various kinds and are all interesting 
They have, indeed, something more than the ordinary interest of such essays. 
Frank Buckland had the art of projecting his personality with such productions far 
more than most men, and he has been eminently successful in doing so in this case. 
Tne result is that in reading what he has written, you feel as if you were enjoying 
a conversation with him.’ — The Scotsman. 

‘ This volume is a delightful treasury of quaint, personal confession, as well as of 
scientific knowledge. It is marked not only by keen observation, but by humanity 
and fine insight, and all that these imply. ... To the young especially, the book 
should be recommended : to them it will prove a source of pure delight, exhilaration, 
and knowledge.’ — British Quarterly Review. 

‘ We can cordially recommend this volume, to those especially of our readers 
who are about to enjoy a summer holiday.’ — The Spectator. 

‘ For some years to come such essay’s as those which fill this volume will be read 
for the earnest love of nature which they show, and the considerable power of 
observation and illustration they exemplify, as well as the geniality and freshness 
of the style in which they are written.’ — S tandard. 



London: SMITH, ELDER, & CO., 15 Waterloo Place. 



BUBAL i ENGL AND. 

‘ A series of books of really incomparable freshness and interest.' — Athen^kum. 

1 Books unsurpassed in power of observation and sympathy with natural objects 
by anything that has appeared since the days of Gilbert White! — Daily News. 



WORKS BY RICHARD JEFFERIES. 



ILLUSTRATED EDITION OP ‘THE GAMEKEEPER AT HOME.' 

Large crown 8vo. 10.s. 6 d. 

THE GAMEKEEPER AT HOME; 

Or, SKETCHES OF NATURAL HISTORY, RURAL LIFE, AND POACHING. 

With 41 Illustrations, specially drawn for the Work by CHARLES Whymper. 

*<[* Also the THIRD EDITION, without Illustrations, crown 8 vo. 5s. 

' Delightful sketches. We do not need the author’s assurance that his facts have been 
gathered from personal observation. This is so obvious from every page that, excepting the 
“Natural History of Selborne,” we remember nothing that has impressed us so certainly 
with the conviction of a minute and vivid exactness. The lover of the country can hardly 
fail to be fascinated whenever he may happen to open the pages. It is a book to read and 
keep for reference, and should be on the shelves of every country gentleman’s library.’ — 

Saturday Review. 

Crown 8vo. 5s. 

ROUND ABOUT A GREAT ESTATE. 

1 To read a book of his is really like taking a trip into some remote part of the country, 
where the surroundings of life remain very much what they wei-e thirty or forty years ago. 
Mr. Jefferies has made up a very pleasant volume.’ — The Globe. 

‘The volume before- us is so charming in its style, and exhibits such familiarity with the 
by-ways of rural life, that it cannot fail to enhance the reputation of its author as a delineator 
of rural society, and as an observant student of animate and inanimate nature.’ — The Echo. 



THIRD EDITION. Crown 8vo. 7s. 6 d. 

WILD LIFE IN A SOUTHERN COUNTY. 

‘A volume which is worthy of a place beside White’s “ Selborne.” In closeness of obser- 
vation, in power of giving a picture far beyond the power of a mere word-painter, he is the 
equal of the Selborne rector — perhaps his superior. The author’s observation of man is as 
close and as true as his observation of the lowqr animals. This is a book to read and to 
treasure.’ — The Athenasum. 

‘ A pleasanter companion it would be hard to find. The author is clearly a man of educa- 
tion and intelligence. Nothing seems to escape the author's notice. Always full of pleasant 
talk and ingenious fancy, there is not a dull page in his note-book. We must send our 
readers to wander for themselves through the delightful pages of “ Wild Life” with certainty 
of finding instruction and amusement of the best kind.’ — Standard. 



Crown 8vo. os. 

THE AMATEUR POACHER. 

’ Unsurpassed in power of observation and sympathy with natural objects by anything 
that has appeared since the days of Gilbert White.’ — Daily News. 

• We have rarely met with a book in whichso much that is entertaining is combined with 
matter of real practical worth. This fascinating and interesting volume is the work of a man of 
keen and cultured observation, and will afford delight and instruction to all.’ — The Graphic. 

‘ The sketches of country life are full of the same bright colouring, and instinct with the 
same love of nature and natural scenes which distinguish the author’s previous works. His 
descriptions are gems in their way.’ — E xaminer. 



2 vols. crown 8vo. 12s. 

HODGE AND HIS MASTERS. 

* The one great charm of Mr. Jefferies’ writings may be summed up in the single word 
“ graphic.” He has a rare power of description, and in “ Hodge and his Masters” we find 
plenty of good reading.’ — Standard. 

‘ Mr. Jefferies knows his ground well and thoroughly, and writes with much of his wonted 
straightforwardness and assurance Pleasant and easy reading throughout.’ — Athenasum. 



London : SMITH, ELDER, & CO., 15 Waterloo Place. 



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